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Chula Vista California Workers' Compensation Law Blog

How many workers' compensation claims result from complacency?

Most industries have inherent dangers, and the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health prescribe industry-specific safety standards. Employers must take the necessary steps to protect employees from known hazards, even those who are seasoned workers with years of experience. Safety authorities often warn about the dangers of complacency, which is the cause of many workers' compensation claims that are filed each year.

Complacency is an error trap that might not receive the attention it deserves. One way of mitigating it might be to schedule frequent training sessions for all workers -- regardless of their experience levels. It might be only natural for workers who have done the same jobs for years, without any adverse incidents or accidents that caused injuries, to disregard the safety regulations and take shortcuts.

Expected high temperatures can bring workers' compensation claims

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health urged employers to heed the high temperatures that have been predicted and protect workers from excessive heat exposure. Temperatures are expected to reach up to 100 degrees in the coming weeks. Taking the necessary precautions can prevent heat illness, and yet, each year the state-regulated workers' compensation program receives benefits claims from workers who were not protected.

Cal/OSHA says the safety standards apply to all workers who spend substantial hours outdoors, including those in construction, landscaping and agriculture. Also groundskeepers, security guards and delivery drivers who spend many hours in vehicles without air conditioning are also a concern. The vulnerability of workers must be assessed according to their duties and the time they are exposed to high temperatures.

The deadliest days for California’s teens to hit the road

For California’s teens, summertime means a release from school. Until school resumes in the fall, they’re largely free to enjoy the sunshine, long days and the company of their friends. But parents will want to make sure their teens are careful when they hit the road because we’re neck deep in the “100 Deadliest Days.”

According to the AAA, the stretch from Memorial Day to Labor Day marks a spike in car crash deaths involving teen drivers. In 2016, the period saw a 14% rise in car crash deaths compared to the rest of the year, and every year sees a similar increase.

Workers' compensation covers trench-related injury claims

Construction workers in California and elsewhere risk their lives whenever they enter trenches. The number of workers' compensation benefits claims that follow cave-ins is concerning, and authorities hope that the upcoming Trench Safety Stand Down from June 17 to 21 would prevent future wall collapses. Although trenches and excavations are both human-made cuts or depressions in the surface of the earth, trenches are those of which the depth is greater than the width, with widths not exceeding 15 feet.

Workers are reminded that they have the right to refuse to enter unprotected trenches. Any such an excavation that is deeper than five feet and not made entirely of solid rock must be protected by sloping the wall to incline away from the opening or by benching, which involves the walls shaped in steps. Shoring and shielding are options that make use of supports to strengthen the walls or trench boxes that protect workers by enclosing them and preventing cave-ins. The suitable method of protection depends on various factors, such as water content, soil type and more, and a designated competent person must consider them to determine the appropriate support system to be used.

At least 8 people have died on E-scooters

The E-scooter trend has been sweeping cities across the country. Companies like Lime and Bird allow users to rent scooters via cellphone app and then leave the scooters almost anywhere when they arrive at their destination. Most companies rent the scooters for an initial fee of about $1 and then add a few cents on for every minute.

For many urban dwellers, E-scooters seem like a godsend – an easy way to avoid driving to place that are just out of walking range. But with the scooters comes danger. A new study from Consumer Reports shows that E-scooters have led to at least eight deaths and 1,500 injuries.

Workers' compensation covers own-fault injuries

Authorities say a significant percentage of workers suffer workplace injuries attributable to their own fault. Fortunately, the California workers' compensation insurance program is a no-fault system that pays benefits regardless of who caused a work-related accident. Benefits claims data shows there are some contributing factors that lead to many preventable work injuries.

Neglected housekeeping leads to slips, trips and falls that cause sprains, strains, lacerations and other more severe injuries such as traumatic brain injuries. Distractions also contribute, and they can be caused by noise and clutter in the work area, or personal issues could cause mental distractions that often lead to the loss of focus on the job. Workers with many years of experience in particular jobs often become complacent. This could lead to taking shortcuts that increase the risks of workplace injuries.

Five things you didn't know about Uber accidents

When was the last time you used a ride sharing service? Ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft provide you with a safe ride home after a night out or a more convenient option than trying to find parking downtown. Chances are high that you’ve used one of these services at least once in your life.

We’re beginning to learn more about the societal impacts of ride sharing companies like Uber, who launched back in 2010. While ride sharing services provide many benefits, they are not impervious to things like car accidents. Here are five things you didn’t know about Uber accidents:

Workers' compensation for first reponders exposed to fentanyl

First responders in California and elsewhere face severe consequences due to exposure to opioids such as fentanyl. Although they are covered by the state-regulated workers' compensation insurance system, the risks could be life-threatening. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health says emergency workers could inhale aerosols or powders, ingest them or they could come in contact with mucous membranes, particularly involving the eyes.

Opioids can also enter their bodies through broken skin, often caused by needlestick injuries. Authorities say the potency of fentanyl is as much as 50 times higher than heroin, and exposure can rapidly cause respiratory depression that could be fatal. Opioids are divided into synthetic and prescription drugs, and statistics show that the number of deaths caused by synthetic opioids far exceeds those caused by prescription drugs.

Personal injury risks in construction zones

Following the recent National Work Zone Awareness week, authorities in California likely hope that this program will bring about safer work zones -- for both vehicle operators and construction workers. Reportedly, the average number of lives lost in construction zones nationwide each year exceeded 700. Statistics show that commercial motor vehicles are involved in a significant percentage work zone accidents that result in personal injury or worse.

Safety authorities urge automobile drivers to avoid construction zones when possible or take additional care when travelling through such zones. This applies especially when they share the restricted roadways in construction zones with commercial trucks, 18-wheelers, buses and other large vehicles. Staying alert and heeding the posted warning signs about speed limits, lane changes and additional information can go a long way in avoiding accidents.

Stagehand's death might bring workers' compensation claim

During the preparation of the grounds at the Empire Polo Club in Indio in the week leading up to the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, a tragic workplace accident claimed the life of a stagehand. Although his family will be eligible for financial assistance with the funeral and burial costs through the California workers' compensation system, nothing can ever make up for a loved one's death. The deceased worker was a 49-year-old San Diego man.

Reportedly, the man was a member of the crew since the festival was established 20 years ago, and he was the lead rigger before his death. Indio police, CalFire and the county fire department responded after receiving a call at about 9:30. Sadly, the rigger succumbed to his injuries before he could be transported to a medical facility.

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