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Santa Barbara Legal Blog

Cal/OSHA continues work on indoor heat rule

When it comes to the topic of heat-related illness on the job, most of us inevitably envision those sectors in which work is conducted outdoors, including construction, landscaping and, of course, agriculture.

While this is certainly not an incorrect depiction, it is somewhat incomplete. Indeed, there are many sectors in which employees are at an equally high risk of falling victim to heat-related illness despite working exclusively indoors. 

Work-related deaths and safety violations

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is often called in to investigate California workplace accidents. Various types of jobs are considered highly dangerous, including but not limited to construction, farming and trucking industries. Each of these types of industries typically involve heavy equipment, machinery and vehicles that place workers and others at risk for accidents and injuries. When work\-related deaths occur, there are usually many concerned people waiting to hear whether company owners or others were negligent and responsible for particular incidents.

A man in another state died on the job on a recent Wednesday. He was reportedly working on a tractor-trailer at the time the horrific accident took place. It was approximately 6 a.m. when the man was working on the truck, which was located at a lumber yard. 

Devastating workplace accidents like this are not soon forgotten

Many California residents make their livings in the plumbing industry. Those who work on commercial buildings often face safety risks on the job, especially if a particular job site is under construction at the time. When workplace accidents occur, causing serious injuries or death, those directly involved are not the only ones affected.

Entire communities often feel the emotional pain of a devastating workplace accident. One recent tragedy in another state involved three men said to be part of the same plumbing crew. On this particular day, they were trying to relocated a flagpole on the premises when a terrible mishap occurred.

Does it bug you to work around pesticides? Keep yourself safe

Like all of California's agricultural workers, you probably work around pesticides. You probably already know that you could experience serious illness and even death through exposure to them. The Environmental Protection Agency improved its Agricultural Worker Protection Standard for workers like you in Nov. 2015.

Those new protections took effect in Jan. 2017, except for the following three, which take effect in Jan. 2018:

  • Applications must cease when others are in the zone
  • Safety training must cover new content
  • Safety posters must reflect revised standards

How to keep teens safe from workplace accidents

There's a special sector of workers in California and throughout the nation, comprised mostly of young people under age 18. Every state has its own laws regarding teen workers, and the U.S. Department of Labor has also enacted several laws to protect the health and safety of teens in the workforce. Many teens, however, are at risk for workplace accidents, especially those who are unaware of the laws, as well as particular hazards that may be present in their work environments.

Many teens seek gainful employment while they're still in school. In addition to the obvious benefit of income, many teens find working at younger ages helps them grow independent and develop various skills that can help them in adulthood. In fact, some teens are able to use their time at work toward college credits for internships, apprenticeships, etc.

Workplace accidents common in construction, logging and farming

Ask anyone in California what type of work is most dangerous and they are likely to include construction, farming or logging in their reply. There are other inherently dangerous jobs as well, but these three industries carry high risks for personal injury. When workplace accidents occur, they often lead to challenging situations when recovering victims or the surviving families of loved ones lost attempt to file claims within the workers' compensation system.

A worker in another state was recently involved in a terrible on-the-job logging accident. It was a Tuesday afternoon when local firefighters were called to an accident scene more than 20 miles deep into a local tree farm. The surrounding terrain leading to the accident site was reportedly extremely difficult to navigate, and the tip to the accident area took more than an hour.

Safety regulations often reviewed after workplace accidents

For workers who carry out their duties outside traditional office spaces, risks for personal injury often run high. For instance, the California construction industry and other jobs involving regular use of heavy machinery or high-powered tools are considered some of the most dangerous jobs in the nation. When workplace accidents occur, employers often try to regroup and make amends by reviewing safety regulations and upgrading protocol as needed.

One employer recently said his company is willing to cooperate with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, as well as his company's insurance agency, to come up with ways to prevent future problems following an incident that resulted in serious injury to one of his workers. The accident took place on a recent Monday. The employee was reportedly on a ladder at the time.

Heavy machinery leaves employees prone to workplace accidents

California workers who make their livings on farms, in construction or industrial lines of work understand how dangerous an average day on the job can be. While these are not the only types of jobs with safety risks, they are definitely among those that rank highest for workplace accidents. Often, such mishaps involve heavy machinery or high-powered tools and equipment. 

A man in another state was recently rushed to the hospital following a terrible accident on the job. Specific details of the events leading up to the emergency situation remain under investigation. All that is known at this time is that the man's arm somehow became entrapped in a piece of heavy machinery.  

Your boss has an attorney, so why shouldn't you?

The workers' compensation program covers employees in California. This insurance pays particular monetary benefits to employees who have suffered on-the-job injuries. What makes it different from insurance you would carry -- such as car insurance -- is that your employer pays the premiums, and when claims arise, it is often the company's interests that are protected. To protect your interests, you can utilize the skills of an experienced workers' compensation attorney.

Here is what a workers' compensation attorney can do for you:

Work-related deaths often shrouded in mystery

Every year, families in California and many other states receive unexpected phone calls informing them that loved ones have been seriously injured or killed on the job. Such tragedies occur more often in some fields of employment than others. Work-related deaths are more likely to happen on construction sites or in factories where high-powered machinery is often used rather than business offices or clothing stores, for instance.

When a worker suffers a fatal on-the-job injury, the exact cause of the situation is not always immediately apparent. In such circumstances, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, as well as local law enforcement agencies, often get involved. Investigations may take weeks or months before conclusions are determined.

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