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Glendale California Workers' Compensation Blog

How do I report a workplace safety issue?

You have the right to expect a safe work environment in California. If you see a safety hazard, you may wonder if you should call the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. However, calling OSHA is not always the right first move. Sometimes alternative options are a better choice.

According to the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, contacting OSHA may not always get the right results or get results as quickly as other options can. You can first let your supervisor know. There is a chance that your employer does not know about the safety issue and will fix it as soon as you report it. If you are part of a union, you can also contact your union representative.

Tesla plant under OSHA inspection

Many people in California are proud to live in a state that is the hotbed of a lot of innovation. Certainly, California is home to many companies that are leading the way in new technologies and products that may have dramatic impacts on society. The evolution of autonomous vehicles is one of these innovations and Tesla is just one company that is actively involved in developing these types of vehicles.

Improved safety on the road has long been given as a primary reason for developing and deploying self-driving cars. Interestingly, the Tesla factory located in the northern California town of Fremont has been the location of a recent accident involving an employee as of late.

Workers’ compensation in California: The basics

If you work in the construction industry in the Glendale area, you already know you have a dangerous job. Even if you follow all of the safety rules and your employer provides top-of-the-line personal protection equipment, you could still have an accident on a work site.

Like most people, you probably cannot afford to take days or weeks off work to recover from a job-related injury. Fortunately, you may be able to file a workers' compensation claim for your injury to get the medical treatment and other benefits you need during recovery.

When should I report an injury to my employer?

The workplace can be fraught with hazards, and injuries are not uncommon. If you happen to get injured while at work in California, you likely will be covered through workers' compensation. However, it is imperative that you follow the right steps to ensure your claim is valid and that you can qualify for coverage.

According to the Department of Industrial Relations, if possible, you should report the injury to your employer as soon as it occurs. Of course, if it is a severe injury, you can seek medical care first and then report to your employer. If it is an injury that develops over time, you should report it when you first learn that the injury is related to your work duties. This could be right after seeking medical care or if you discover the connection on your own.

What should be included in on-the-job safety training?

One of the easiest ways to ensure a California job site is safe is for employers to provide workers with proper safety training. Safety training covers a lot of ground, but it is only as good as the information presented, which is why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration sets some guidelines for employers when putting together a safety program.

There are three main goals a program should aim for. These include offering training specialized to the unique safety hazards for that particular work environment, basic information about how to not create a hazardous worksite and to increase awareness and let employees know what to do if a hazard is identified.

Understanding why you are being asked for a drug test

You are recovering from an injury sustained in an accident at work. Thankfully, your physical recovery is going well and you are feeling optimistic about returning to work. However, you are still conflicted about why you were asked to submit drug testing results following your accident. At Glauber/Berenson Attorneys, we have helped many injured employees in California to become better educated about the purpose of worker's compensation and their rights as an injured employee. 

Drug testing is actually an invaluable tool to use in providing you and your employer with protection. A well-rounded drug test can rule out certain causes of an accident that could have incriminated you or left you facing consequences that were unnecessary. Likewise, drug testing is a great way for your employer to provide a detailed and trustworthy report to entities like OSHA who will require such information as they conduct their internal investigation. 

Can self-employed persons get workers' compensation coverage?

If you work for yourself, there are some protections and benefits you may not get that you would have if you worked for an employer. One of those is workers' compensation, which covers you if you get injured on the job. Since you do not have an employer, you would be responsible for obtaining the coverage. While the California Department of Industrial Relations explains you can get workers' compensation coverage for yourself, it may not be your best option.

Buying workers' compensation insurance is not going to come with a low price tag. It may not end up being worth it just to cover yourself. Do keep in mind, though, if you have any employees, then you must carry this insurance under the law. However, if it is just you running and working in your business, then it is optional. If you do get coverage, you must make sure you make it clear that you are a sole proprietor.

What are causes of workplace back injuries?

California workers that sustain back injuries on the job likely wonder how they could have avoided getting hurt in the first place. Given the unexpected nature of so many back injuries, it is important to look at common causes of back injuries to try and prevent them from happening. Avoiding injury can save workers pain, suffering and the distress of losing days at work while trying to heal.

OSHA points out that attempting to lift a heavy load is one of the main causes of injuries in the workplace. Improper lifting can result in injuries to the back and shoulders, and may include pulling muscles and spraining the back. Wrists, elbows, legs or the worker's spine may also suffer damage. Harmful lifting practices can take a number of forms.

How does California law keep hotel housekeepers safe?

Housekeeping staff working in California hotels face numerous risks every day on the job. To prevent these workers from enduring undue risks and unnecessary injuries, the state of California has created the Hotel Housekeeping Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention Program (MIPP).

The MIPP helps to keep hotel workers safe by requiring hotels to develop a system for safeguarding the health and well-being of its cleaning staff.More about MIPP requirements

Should trains have to have a minimum number of crew members?

If you are a railroad worker in California, then you understand the risks involved in the job. It is thought that fewer accidents may occur if there are more workers required onboard the train. It is thought, according to The Hill, that having more workers on a train can help to prevent serious accidents due to common issues that overworked railroad employees combat regularly.

For example, the current rule is that there only has to be one worker on the train, then that does not leave much room for things to go wrong. If that worker gets injured or sick, there is no other worker left to do the work. Furthermore, there is an increased danger of being overworked and suffering from issues, such as fatigue.

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