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Glendale California Workers' Compensation Blog

What resources can I use to learn about workers' compensation?

While you may know about the California workers' compensation system, you may find that you have additional questions. Navigating workers' compensation is sometimes tricky. It can leave you with important concerns or issues that you need to find the answers to. Knowing the best resources you can use to learn more about your rights and the system in general allows you to better handle any problems or questions you may have.

The Department of Industrial Relations explains there are plenty of resources available to assist you with everything from a simple question to filing your workers' compensation claim. One of the best and easily accessible resources is your local Information and Assistance office. The professionals there can usually answer any questions you have and offer assistance if you need it.

Mental trauma after a workplace accident

The consequences of a work-related injury can shatter someone’s life in countless ways, whether they lose the ability to walk for the rest of their life or they have to take several weeks off to recover from a broken arm. However, these accidents can shatter a worker’s life in additional ways, some of which may be hard for others to detect. For example, those involved in a job-related accident may struggle with mental trauma following the incident, and this trauma can be very devastating also.

Depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and various emotional hardships can affect a worker who was injured on the job in all sorts of ways. Mental trauma can spell disaster for personal relationships, and it can even prevent someone from returning to the position they held at the time of the accident. For example, someone whose job duties involved driving (such as a trucker or a taxi driver) may not be able to return to their job following a crash, and they may need to look for a new field to work in.

What are some facts about workplace accidents?

Regardless of where you work in California, there is always a risk for a workplace injury. Not all injuries are severe, but many of them do result in time off work, which can affect the whole business. Many people work in jobs where they think they will never have to worry about workplace accidents, but when looking at the statistics, you may be surprised what you learn about the most common injuries. Just because you may not work in one of the top most dangerous fields does not mean you are never going to suffer an injury.

The fields that see the largest number of workplace injuries, according to The National Safety Council, probably will not surprise you. They include construction, maintenance, manufacturing, transportation and service, which includes public service workers. These are obviously risky professions where injuries can more easily occur.

What do you need to know about cumulative trauma claims?

Cumulative trauma injuries are those that develop over time as a result of excessive wear and tear on a certain muscle, tendon or nerve. Cumulative trauma disorder can develop as a result of work repetition, positioning or force. Examples of CTD include carpal tunnel, tenosynovitis, Raynaud’s Syndrome and De Quervain’s Disease. CTDs are a major occupational issue in California and throughout the United States and affect approximately three percent of the adult population. If left untreated, they can lead to chronic pain, swelling, reduced function or complete loss of function. For this reason, CDS are usually compensable work injuries in California.

According to the Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau, cumulative trauma claims have grown by 50 percent in the past decade in California. Los Angeles and San Diego generate the most CT claims, with 75 percent of all CT claims coming from those regions, compared with just 50 percent of other claims. Though CT claim growth is spread across many industries in the state, the report indicates that the majority of claims come from workers in the Hospitality and Manufacturing sectors. According to the report, lower wage workers file the most CT claims.  

Safety practices integral on construction sites

Like in other areas of California, the construction industry in Glendale is one of the most dangerous sectors you can work in. Every year, a large number of construction workers lose their lives while on the job and an even larger number sustain a wide range of injuries. This is the reason why it is important for job sites to maintain appropriate safety protocols.

If you work in the construction industry, there are some safety conditions you should look for to feel secure that your employer has minimized the risk of an accident as much as possible. Here are the top safety measures that should be present on any construction site where you are employed.

Job-related stress and auto accidents

Motor vehicle collisions occur for different reasons, but a driver’s emotional state can play a key role in their ability to drive safely. Unfortunately, auto accidents happen because of road rage (and there are various reasons why drivers can become so angry), but they may be caused by other mental challenges as well. For example, someone may be extremely stressed out because of something they are going through at work, which could lead to an on-the-job crash. Or, their job may be so demanding that they are mentally drained, which can interfere with driving abilities.

Job-related stress may be temporary, or it could be chronic. For example, someone may be experiencing an unusual amount of stress due to a particular project, or they might have been struggling with chronic stress for years due to the demands of their job. Either way, this can be dangerous when it comes to driving, and an extremely stressed out driver may be more likely to make errors behind the wheel, drive too fast or exhibit some other example of dangerous behavior on the road.

How do I file a workers' compensation claim?

If you suffer an injury while at work in California, you can file a workers' compensation claim in most cases. You need to file your claim properly to ensure you do not get a denial. Luckily, the process is fairly easy and your employer should assist you upon learning of your injury. According to the California Department of Industrial Relations, your employer should start the workers' compensation claim process by giving you the form within one day of your injury. If your employer does not give you the form, you can download it from the website of the Department of Workers' Compensation.

Once you have the form, you should fill out everything in the employee section. You then give the form back to your employer. You can do this in person or by mail. If you mail it, make sure to use certified mail. Your employer then finishes filling out the form and submits it. You should get a copy of the completed form.

What are the risks of working with or around forklifts?

If you work around forklifts, you have to be aware of the risks they pose as they could result in a deadly situation. Whether you are the driver or simply a worker on the ground, a forklift can be a dangerous piece of equipment. Safety has to be the number one priority for everyone to avoid accidents. Your employer in California should also provide you with safety training.

The Business Journals explain the size and overall configuration of a forklift plays into its safety risks. For example, since it carries a load on the front, there is a lot of risk for overloading that makes the forklift front heavy. This could pose a tip over risk. In addition, the way it moves by swinging out and making wide turns also is a problem. You have to be aware of the forklifts weight limits and give it plenty of space to maneuver.

Nurse's aides suffer more injuries than construction workers

When you think of physically laborious jobs, certainly construction work would be in the top five. But many people may be surprised to learn that in comparison to construction workers, nursing assistants suffer nearly three times as many musculoskeletal injuries on the job.

In fact, mostly because of the lifting involved with their care of patients, nurse's aides suffer more injuries than workers in any other industries.

Could social media lead to a worker's compensation denial?

Most people use social media these days. Often social media accounts become almost like a public journal of daily happens and life moments. While social media can be a great way to connect with your friends in California and beyond, it can also spell trouble if you file a workers' compensation claim. According to Insurance Provider Group, investigators may use your social media postings and other public posts containing information about you to deny your workers' compensation claim.

Investigators have the job of ensuring you are telling the truth about your injuries and the extent of your disability. In the past, they might check up on your in person, but now, thanks to the internet and social media, all they need is a computer to validate your claims. If, for example, you post yourself on vacation waterskiing when you made a claim that you were unable to walk, this is a good piece of evidence against you. Furthermore, other people's posts about you may also provide usable information.

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