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Glendale California Workers' Compensation Blog

What are your options for reporting a safety violation at work?

When you were first hired for your job in California, you probably received training that informed you about how to do your job and how to manage any hazards that you may encounter along the way. Your employer may have even provided you with instructions for reporting hazards that could cause a danger to you and your coworkers. However, if your employer is showing negligence in assessing hazards and implementing solutions to mitigate their danger, you may be considering submitting a complaint to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. 

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, you have several options for reporting a safety violation in your workplace. You could download a complaint form or even get a physical copy of one from your local OSHA office. Once filled out in its entirety with all of the applicable details, you can fax your response to the appropriate addressee. Another option is to go online and fill out a form and submit it in the same location. Finally, you could consider placing a phone call where you can speak with someone directly about your concerns. 

Using a hazard control plan to reduce workplace injuries

Regardless of the industry in California, all workers face unique risks each day when they go to work. While some face a higher number of risks than others, each person must understand the hazards of their job and how to effectively mitigate them to stay safe at work and perform their job effectively. 

According to Chron, there are many common reasons why workplace accidents happen in the first place. Some of the top reasons why people get hurt include the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Violence
  • Overexertion
  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Transportation accidents
  • Repetition of the same tasks

Reviewing the "Fatal Four"

Your work in construction allows you to personally contribute to the growth of cities like Glendale. Yet with these work-related rewards also comes the risks inherent with the construction industry. You likely understand that your job can be dangerous, yet are you familiar with the common dangers that practitioners in your field face? Many who come to see us here at Glauber Berenson Vego are not, yet they are often shocked to discover that the statistics showing such information are readily available. Furthermore, it is often surprising how, in light of this data, your employer may still not be adequately protecting you from common "on-the-job" risks. 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has compiled workplace accident data to identify the dangers that America's workers face. Specifically in regards to the construction industry, they have identified what has come to be known as the "Fatal Four." These are the four most common causes of work-related fatalities amongst construction workers. The list includes falls, being struck by falling objects, electrocutions, or being caught in (or in between) equipment or work surfaces. All told, 63.7 percent of all construction industry fatalities in 2016 were attributed to the Fatal Four. 

Falls at work can lead to many kinds of injuries

There's a reason that many companies require non-slip shoes for jobs ranging from manufacturing work to customer service. Workers who slip or fall while on the job can end up suffering serious injuries. In fact, falls are one of the leading causes of injury to workers in the United States. How much risk an employee has for a fall will vary depending on the job they perform.

Construction workers toiling at great heights are at higher risk of a fall then someone who works a register for a living. However, falls can happen to people who work in any industry. Wet floors, stairs and even slippery sidewalks could all contribute to a worker falling.

What are temporary disability benefits?

There are several different types of benefits you could receive from workers' compensation in California. One of those is temporary disability benefits. It is important to understand what this means if this is the type of benefit you receive because it will help you to know how long you may receive it and the different conditions of the benefit.

According to the Department of Industrial Relations, temporary disability benefits, as the name suggests, are just temporary. You receive these benefits when your injury will keep you off work while you recover, but once you recover, you can return to work. You will only receive them if you cannot work for more than three days. You also must be off work under a doctor's orders. To go back to work, your doctor must approve it.

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.

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