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Glendale California Workers' Compensation Blog

Construction worker accident factors

Residents in California who work in the construction industry or who have loved ones employed in a construction job know that the risk of experiencing an injury can be quite high on a job site. There are laws and regulations in place that mandate certain safety protocol and training processes but there is also the need for companies to properly follow those and create a true culture of safety. Sadly, this does not always seem to happen.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were more than 5,100 work-related fatalities across the United States in 2017 alone. This was in addition to the more than 2.8 million work-related injuries recorded that same year.

Common reasons for injuries on construction sites

The construction industry is potentially one of the most dangerous industries to work in. Construction worker injuries in 2009 accounted for 9% of all nonfatal workplace injuries in the United States. One of the reasons why there are so many injuries on construction sites is because the conditions faced by workers are inherently hazardous. Even though construction sites are highly regulated and many procedures are put in place to increase safety, many workers are injured every year.

If you are a construction worker, you will have the right to file for workers' compensation if you become injured. This will entitle you to claim back medical expenses that resulted from the injury, and you may also be able to gain back a portion of the wages you lost. The following are some of the most common reasons why injuries occur on construction sites.

Can emotional stress impact your ability to work?

Many physical injuries can prevent you from working while you recover or if you are permanently disabled. Whether you are healing from a moderate concussion after hitting your head on an office cabinet or suffering from the long-term complications of a broken spine after falling from scaffolding, you probably know that you can file a workers’ compensation claim for these injuries. You and other Californians may wonder if the same can apply for job-related emotional stress.

Medical professionals say chronic stress, anxiety and depression can significantly impact your quality of life and ability to perform your job. Work-related stress can take many forms, according to the Mayo Clinic. Some examples may include the following:

  • Emotional trauma and anxiety from being yelled at and intimidated by a supervisor or co-workers
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder after witnessing a fatal workplace accident or sustaining a serious injury on the job
  • Having a job that is dangerous, noisy, fast-paced or stressful
  • Experiencing sexual harassment, racial discrimination or other forms of unlawful workplace behavior

Can spinal fusion treatments help with your back pain?

As a construction worker in California, you face a high risk of injury. If you fall from a roof, get struck by a falling object or do a lot of heavy lifting, then you may suffer specifically from back injuries. This may lead to chronic pain. Many people turn to opioids for pain relief. However, as the addiction and overdose epidemic continues to sweep across America, men people now seek out other alternatives.

Workers’ compensation may provide you with the financial support you need until you are back on your feet. However, you may continue to suffer from back pains for years to come, and often, for the rest of your life. To combat this issue, many injured workers now turn to spinal fusion to relieve back pain. In many instances, workers get this covered in their workers’ compensation claim.

New bill for worker injury reporting with Governor

People who live and work in California should always feel that they will be properly cared for should they ever experience an on-the-job accident or develop an illness or medical condition due to a work-related factor or environment. One of the ways that employees can be protected is through the workers' compensation system. Another important element of worker safety is ensuring that all injuries and illnesses are properly reported and monitored.

The California state legislature has recently approved a new bill outlining new requirements for reporting most workplace illnesses and injuries. The bill has been sent to the Governor and, if signed by him, will go into effect. Among the bill's provisions is the requirement to report serious illnesses or injuries and fatalities within eight hours. The eight-hour window begins from the time when the employer either knew or should have known about the event.

How to avoid a slip-and-fall accident

Slip and fall accidents are one of the common workplace incidents to occur across many industries throughout the country. Whether you work in an office building, a warehouse or at a construction site, there can be situations where a slip and fall accident is inevitable. These types of accidents can be relatively minor. However, they have the potential to cause serious damage and may result in long-term injuries that could affect your life for years to come. While your employer is ultimately responsible for keeping your workplace safe and free from potential dangers that may cause a slip and fall incident to occur, there are things you can do to minimize your risk of becoming involved in such an accident. 

First, be sure that your work area is free from debris that may cause an accident. Keep your floor picked up and free from cords, cables and clutter. If there are items that must be kept in your workspace, make sure they are neatly organized, stacked or arranged in such a way that you will not be able to trip over them. 

Biohazard injuries can lead to compensation claims

When most people think of biohazards in the workplace, what comes to mind usually are hospital and lab employees working around contaminated bodily fluids of infected patients. Certainly, those employees face a higher than average risk of getting injured or becoming ill due to a biohazard exposure in the workplace.

But the reality is that there are many professions where workers are routinely exposed to potentially hazardous biological material. Below are some professions where the workers face biohazard risks of varying degrees.

Can you get lung disease from work?

When you punch into work each day, you may not realize that your working environment can have an affect on your short-term and long-term health. You may be exposed to certain stimuli at work on a daily basis, which could in turn, take a toll on your overall physical wellbeing. One of the most common occupational injuries involves lung disease, asthma, pneumonia, silicosis and COPD. In fact, occupational lung diseases are the leading cause of work-related illnesses in the country, according to the American Lung Association. Yet, they are preventable, and employers are responsible for ensuring workers are able to perform in a safe work environment. 

Many industry workers are at risk of developing an occupational lung disease. For example, if you work in a garage, textile factory, at a construction site or mine, you may be exposed to a wide-range of dust, fibers, asbestos and dangerous chemicals. Your employer should make sure you are equipped with the proper filtration gear that will filter out any of these toxins, as even a single exposure to a hazardous toxin can cause damage to the lungs. 

Are temps in danger of on-the-job accidents?

There are many companies throughout California and across the country that provide temporary workers to companies in many industries. These temporary workers provide additional manpower when other workers are out for medical leave or a company is simply short workers for a period of time. Studies show, however, that these temp workers are injured at a higher rate than regular workers who perform the same duties on a daily basis. It is crucial that temp workers be extra cautious when performing these temporary duties that may be unfamiliar to them. 

A temp company, Priority Workforce, was recently put under scrutiny after a review found that they have been cited for 11 cases of safety violations. In one incident, an employee was killed and four others were injured. A number of these cases involved lack of safety training from the company. When temp workers are hired on for a short period of time, companies may fail to give them the proper training that will keep them safe on the job. As a result, they are more likely to become injured or killed when working around dangerous equipment. 

Returning to work with a TBI: What you should know

Once you have been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury, there are a myriad of issues you must work through to get back on your feet. Depending on the severity of your brain injury, as well as where the injury is located, you may have to go through different types of rehabilitation. You may face issues involving cognitive difficulties, physical weakness, insomnia, trouble communicating, depression, anxiety, memory issues and trouble reasoning or problem solving. In some cases, you may face challenges when going back to work and resuming the tasks that you once completed rather easily. 

Before you go back to work, you may want to work out a plan or schedule with your employer. If possible, ease back into the workplace by working just a few days a week and for shorter hours. Coordinate with your employer to see if they will decrease your workload so you are not overwhelmed when returning for the first few weeks. Be sure to take more frequent breaks at work. 

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