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Glendale California Workers' Compensation Blog

What do I do if I disagree with my doctor?

A worker who is injured and seeks payment for medical treatment under workers’ compensation can choose a doctor from a selection offered by the employer’s insurance company. However, some workers may have disagreements with their doctor over a number of different issues. If this is the case for you, you should know that California law provides ways to dispute your doctor’s claims and even allow you to select a new doctor if necessary.

Some injured workers have a problem with the treatment plan recommended by their doctor. According to the California Department of Industrial Relations website, you have the option to change your doctor. The doctor still has to be authorized by the employer’s insurance company, which can be chosen through the medical provider network set up by your employer’s insurance company.

What do safety sign colors mean?

As a California worker, you have likely been instructed on how to keep an eye out for possible danger in the workplace. To help their workers maintain proper vigilance, jobsite management will often erect safety signs to warn employees about dangerous spots and hazards. You can usually tell how severe the danger is just by looking at the color of the sign.

Per Safestart, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that safety signs be designated by certain colors depending on the severity of the hazard. Certain hazards may only present a minor threat of an injury, or injury may result if a worker engages in unsound work practices. In these situations, the workplace will erect a yellow colored sign as a warning.

Developing a safety management program that works

Many California companies recognize the seriousness of a workplace accident and openly acknowledge that extreme incidents could immediately compromise their organization. To mitigate the risks of hiring employees and relying on them to assume responsibility for operating critical parts of the company, corporate leaders often go to great lengths to develop and implement a functioning safety management program. 

While the concept is promising in that it suggests a mechanism for providing education about avoiding dangerous behaviors, such programs are actually quite useless unless they have been developed with the unique circumstances of an organization in mind. When a company is able to identify the risks that are unique to both its industry and its individual processes, they can much more effectively develop a program that addresses each risk and hazard with critical attention to detail. 

Rehab provider accused of exploiting patients for labor

There are certain industries operating in Glendale whose workers (due to the nature of the work) are at an increased risk of injury. However, employers in these industries are likely aware of those risks, and are thus expected to take steps in order to protect their employees. This includes providing safety equipment and not requiring employees to work in extreme conditions. Yet some may question whether that same standard is applied to subcontractors who send workers out to various job sites to perform a wide array of tasks. 

This is what many following the operations of a nationally renowned rehab services provider want to know. As part of its treatment programs, the company sends patients out to work for large companies on various projects. The company keeps each worker's wages in order to cover the cost of the program, which it touts as helping those suffering from addiction to secure jobs. Many of the workers, however, claim that they are expected to work unreasonable hours with nothing in terms of compensation. Worse yet. many claim to show up to jobs where the regular staff is given safety equipment, yet they are not. While numerous injury cases have been filed against the company, little has reportedly been meted out against it in terms of enforcement. 

Female workers must use specialized equipment in construction

While female workers want to be treated the same as everyone else when it comes to pay and respect, the reality is that there are some aspects of the job that have to be different. One thing that all female workers need to make sure of is that their personal protective equipment is an appropriate size.

Personal protective equipment, better known as PPE, protects your body against injuries or infections that you'd be otherwise exposed to while on the job. You might have helmets, gloves, jumpsuits or other attire that keeps you safe.

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.

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