Not all warehouse owners in California recognize the vital role employee safety plays in profitability. By establishing a safe work environment, productivity can be maximized, and increased insurance premiums can be avoided by limiting injuries that lead to workers' compensation benefits claims. Injury-related lost work hours, repairs to equipment and damaged stock can be avoided by taking safety seriously.
Safety authorities recently reminded business owners nationwide, including in California, of the hazards posed by electricity. The National Institute of Safety and Health urged employers to respect electricity and never to start a project before assessing the job site and identifying potential electrical hazards. All employees must receive training in recognizing associated dangers and the appropriate methods for dealing with them. Furthermore, employees must also be informed of the requirements and procedures for filing a workers' compensation claim in the event of an injury.
Six years ago, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health received a petition from hotel workers' representatives that ultimately led to the agency recently issuing new regulations to prevent injuries. Housekeepers in hotels file more workers' compensation claims for cumulative and acute injuries than workers in any other industry. The new rule requires employers to implement musculoskeletal injury prevention programs (MIPP) with ergonomic standards to protect hotel housekeepers.
Nearly every worker in California is covered by workers' compensation. State law requires every company with one or more employee to have coverage. That does not mean that every worker eligible for coverage manages to get the help he or she deserves when hurt on the job. Perhaps tops on that list would be the day laborer – who very often happens to also be an undocumented immigrant.