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San Jose Workers' Compensation Blog

On workplace injuries and workers' comp

Everyone likes to think that their job won't lead to serious injuries or even death. However, there are situations that can arise where repetitive stress or a workplace accident could lead to injuries that dramatically alter the life of a worker. These injuries can happen in any industry, though they are more common in more dangerous, high-risk industries.

For example, many people work in construction. This is a high-risk industry where heavy equipment, powerful tools, dangerous substances and precarious heights are the norm. Construction workers need to be careful, and their employers and contractors need to apply safety standards at construction zones to ensure that workers and innocent bystanders are protected from the inherently dangerous nature of these areas.

How to help Spanish-speaking family members after work injuries

If you are a Spanish-speaking resident of California who is also fluent in English, you may have parents or other family members in the workforce. In many cases, such family members are not fluent in the English language -- especially if they are of the older generation. Unfortunately, these are often the victims of workplace injuries because of the communication problem. Their inability to understand English can jeopardize not only their safety but also their abilities to pursue workers' compensation insurance benefits -- many of which are denied.

If you are fluent in English, you may be of great help to your loved ones if they suffer workplace injuries. Unfortunately, several factors may prevent them from admitting to being injured -- especially those who work in production lines where invisible conditions such as repetitive stress injuries are prevalent. Factors such as education level, language proficiency, fear of being fired and being in a contract job may cause them to avoid reporting injuries.

Can repetitive injuries leave you hurting for financial benefits?

Carrying out the same duties day after day occurs on the job for many individuals. Though this type of activity may make your days seem mundane, you may appreciate knowing what your work day consists of and what to expect. However, over time, you could develop serious injuries due to the repetitive motions necessary for your job, and these injuries could affect your daily life in a significant way.

Carpal tunnel syndrome commonly results from performing the same motion over and over, but it may interest you to know that other types of repetitive injuries could occur as well. If you feel that you may have developed one or more of these issues in the course of your employment, you may want to find out whether you could qualify for workers' compensation.

Some hazards to police officers come from unseen dangers

As a police officer, you accept certain risks. You know that you could find yourself in a dangerous situation at any time. You do what you can to prevent injuries to yourself, your fellow officers and the citizens you swore to protect. Unfortunately, your luck could run out, and you could find yourself suffering from an injury.

When most people in California think about a police officer suffering an injury on duty, they more than likely think about car accidents, shootings and physical altercations. However, other unseen hazards could also put the lives of the state's law enforcement officers in jeopardy -- maybe not today or tomorrow, but at some point.

Who can answer your workers' compensation questions?

As an employee in California, you are likely aware of the insurance coverage your employer is expected to arrange for the company's workers. However, has anybody at your place of employment explained how workers' compensation benefits work? If you were involved in a workplace accident, would you know the procedures for filing benefits claims, which injuries will be covered and when will you receive compensation?

The last question might be the most prominent in your mind because a loss of income can lead to severe financial problems that will also affect your family. Medicare coverage becomes effective after 29 months, and payments from Social Security Disability Insurance keeps injured workers waiting for five months. In contrast, you can expect workers' compensation insurance to pay for your work-related medical expenses immediately, and if you are temporarily disabled, you could receive a wage-replacement package within a week.

Female construction workers' shapes may threaten their lives

If you are a female construction worker in a full-body harness designed for a bulky male, your life may be at risk. Across the nation, including in California, the construction workforce's face is rapidly changing. An ever-growing number of women are building construction careers. However, along with dangers, such as fatal falls, entrapment, electrocutions and more, as a woman, you might face some unique hazards in the construction industry. Unique aspects such as the body shapes and often-smaller physiques of women are but some of the challenges for employers.

When health care workers have to focus on their own health...

Historically, health care workers are noble and altruistic, and their patients come first. As a health care worker, would you like to get back to those times when doctors, nurses, aides and more could focus on healing or improving the health of their patients without fearing for their own safety? Sadly, with changing times, new laws are being passed to keep health care workers safe.

While much attention was paid in recent years to the threat of back injuries for hospital workers when moving and lifting patients, those who work with outpatients are facing risks of violence. The California Office of Administrative Law recently approved an update to the standards of safety and protection for health care workers who do their bit by caring for patients away from hospitals. Starting April 1, new rules about reporting and other safety issues will come into effect.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administrations says four times more violent workplace incidents occur in the health industry, compared to private industry. Alarmingly, in most violent incidents against health care workers, the patients are the sources of the violence.

Are Workplace Injuries Part Of The Job Requirements When You're A Nurse?

Nurses, nursing assistants and other health care professionals, have occupations that require caring daily for others. But what happens when as one of these professionals, you get hurt on the job?

Unfortunately you're often not given proper care in return, and workplace injuries are checked off as unsubstantiated.

Can I Get Workers' Comp If I Had A Pre-Existing Condition?

Workers' comp seems fairly simple: You are injured on the job and you receive benefits for medical care. But what if you aggravate an old injury at work rather than get a new injury? Can you still receive workers' comp in cases where you have a pre-existing injury?

Preexisting injuries are one of the main reasons that insurers deny workers' compensation claims. Typically, the insurer will claim that the injury either occurred outside or work or happened before the claimant took the job. So, if you had a history of back pain after an old sports injury, would you be able to get workers' comp if your job at a grocery store aggravated the old injury? The answer is: It depends.

18 LA-based Garment Companies Fined $682,000

The California Labor Commissioners Office has fined $682,000 to 18 garment companies in Los Angeles for violated labor laws. This is not the first go-round for Los Angeles-based businesses - along with garment workers, other locally exploited professions include those who work in or at car washes, restaurants, construction sites and landscaping.

The garment companies were cited for not having workers' comp insurance, not providing itemized time sheets that accurately show hours on the job and/or they didn't properly register with the state as an entity that is doing business.

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