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San Jose Workers' Compensation Blog

High rate of California workers get medical workers' compensation

Being injured on the job in California can not only cause physical issues, but it can be an emotional and financial rollercoaster. Medical expenses and lost wages is something workers' compensation benefits is expected to cover. However, being approved for the benefits can be a trying experience. If the process has sticking points with the Division of Workers' Compensation, or the employer or insurer seeks to deny the claim, it is important to understand legal options.

Fortunately, research indicates that a high rate of injured workers get approved for treatment through workers' compensation. According to the study, changes made by the state to smooth the process of medical review and approval have resulted in more than 94% of cases being approved, or approved after modifications were made. The study was conducted by the California Workers' Compensation Institute. It assessed various aspects of the process for 10 months after the changes in 2018 to the Utilization Review and Independent Medical Review.

Unsafe working environment leads to nurses' complaints

In the Bay Area and in hospitals in general, there are inherent dangers that emergency personnel and other employees will face. Sharp objects, slips and falls, people who are unaware of their surroundings and might react unpredictably to treatment, the potential for exposure to illnesses and more can cause a work accident or incident and lead to injuries and even death.

According to recent reports, nurses in an emergency department have complained about an unsafe working environment at the hospital. They informed state regulators that there have been violent acts perpetrated against the staff. They say they are lacking in sufficient staffing and the hospital administrators have been negligent. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health was informed of these issues. The nurses say that there has been an absence of training for preventing violence at work and it has not been done for two years. Workers also say they were dissuaded by management from reporting violence in the workplace.

Cleanup after wildfires can be deadly

If you are a member of a cleanup crew after wildfires, you might not realize how dangerous your job is. Your employer must identify and evaluate the hazards, and address any unhealthy or unsafe conditions. Your employer must also provide instructions and safety training.

Did you know that, even after being extinguished, wildfires can continue to smolder in dust, wood splinters or debris, and new fires can erupt upon the introduction of oxygen, fuel or flammable material?

Unsafe working environment allegations plague Amazon

In California and throughout the nation, online retailers have not just become a prominent way in which people shop, but have also evolved into major employers. While there are many such companies, some are larger than others. When there is a need for speed along with volume, it can lead to rushing, pressure and dangerous situations for employees. Employers should be responsible for worker safety, but when there are other priorities, an unsafe working environment and an accident on the job can happen.

Amazon, for example, sells a seemingly endless array of products and sends them quickly to be delivered. Despite that, numerous work injuries related to the hectic requirements has led to the company being categorized as one of the most dangerous workplaces. One incident, for example, in which a worker received a reprimand because he had made a mistake, preceded a heart attack days later that killed him. He was not found or attended to for 20 minutes and the company is asserting that it was not an incident on the job, but happened because of a medical issue.

Fatal construction accident kills worker, injures a second worker

Across California, construction work is ongoing. This can be in a public and private works, repairs, maintenance and more. Regardless of the project itself, there are inherent dangers in these types of jobs. Workers will need to handle heavy tools, climb to great heights, operate and be near large vehicles and trust other workers and their employers to maintain proper safety protocol. It is unfortunate that accidents happen quite frequently, causing injuries and fatalities. For those who were hurt, workers' compensation benefits can be crucial to make ends meet and get medical care. After a fatality, knowing how to pursue compensation after a wrongful death is also vital.

According to recent reports, a construction accident at a school led to a 30-year-old worker's death. A second worker was hurt in the same accident. The project is to build an event center for a high school. According to the investigation, the decedent was an ironworker. He was on a platform 30 feet above the ground and was connecting beams. A beam hit him and he fell, landing on the ground. He was rushed to the hospital, where doctors declared him dead. The other worker's injuries were said to be minor, but that worker was taken to the hospital. An investigation is being conducted by the Division of Occupational Safety and Health.

Do you know what caused that constant ringing in your ears?

Just about every workplace in California exposes workers to noise, which, if excessive, can cause permanent hearing damage or even hearing loss. Many workers only realize the severity of the damage when it is too late because it happens over years of exposure. Hearing loss is irreversible but preventable.

You can perform a simple test to determine whether the noise in your workplace is excessive. If you have to raise your voice when you talk to a coworker who is only an arm's length away from you, then it is time to wear your earplugs, muffs or other protection to prevent hearing loss.

Countertop makers could face unsafe working conditions

Workers who have specific skills in California and across the nation will be trusted to do certain jobs that are difficult and lucrative. When they are working with substances that could be dangerous, they should be aware of their rights to workers' compensation if they are injured or become ill. If, for example, they are working with minerals and substances that carry various risks, it is important to understand what recourse they have should they get sick. There could be medical costs, lost wages and other problems that impact their lives and their families' lives. Workers' compensation claims could provide for their needs.

For example, it has become popular for homeowners and designers to have items in the home made from natural stone. That includes quartz and granite. A danger of these substances is silica dust. A problem with this is that workers have become ill after cutting the natural stone. Lawmakers seek to provide protections for these workers. If the dust is properly controlled, the risk is mitigated, if not eliminated completely. However, workers in multiple states, including California, have gotten sick with lung issues after cutting these materials. Two were found to have silicosis after they died.

CVS: Look after your eyes -- you have only one pair

Although you are not likely to suffer a life-threatening injury while sitting at a desk, staring at a computer screen for seven to eight hours a day can cause long-term vision problems. The initial discomfort of blurry, burning eyes could soon develop into computer vision syndrome.

The modern lifestyle of many admin workers in California has them staring at the computer screen all day, and when they take a break, the first thing they do is to take a smart phone or tablet to check social media. Whether you work in an office environment or from home, extended hours of digital screen use can cause eyestrain.

Officers might need workers' compensation after police car crash

Working in law enforcement in California is understandably dangerous. Much of the risk stems from officers simply doing their jobs, making arrests, helping people and dealing with emergencies. Getting to an emergency can be risky in and of itself, as officers must navigate traffic and drive at certain speeds to get to their destination. Officers can even be hurt when their vehicle is hit by another car. While it might not be the most common way in which officers are hurt, auto accidents can happen and lead to injuries and even fatalities.

According to recent reports, a crash involving a California Highway Patrol vehicle led to the officers being injured. The accident happened in the early morning hours shortly before 3 a.m. There were four vehicles in the accident. The investigation shows that a 19-year-old was speeding in a 2013 Chrysler. That car subsequently hit two other vehicles, including a Prius being driven by a 39-year-old and a 2008 truck. The Prius careened into an area of the freeway where the police vehicle was stationed with its overhead lights on. It was not moving. The cruiser was rear-ended. One of the officers inside was severely injured. The other had injuries that were described as moderate. The 19-year-old was arrested for DUI.

OSHA list of biggest workplace safety issues for 2019 revealed

Workplace safety is a primary concern for workers in California regardless of the type of work they do. Injuries can happen in any kind of employment, but there are certain jobs that come with greater risk for an accident on the job. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration is responsible for ensuring employers comply with the requirements to maintain a safe workplace. If the employers fail to do so, citations can be issued.

Keeping track of which violations are most common can be useful to understand where the greatest dangers are. If there is a workplace accident and the worker is injured because of an unsafe working environment, a workers' compensation claim may be a potential option. Recently, the National Safety Council combined with OSHA to release a list of the 10 worst violations for which employers are cited. These are for the fiscal year, 2019.

Reach Out To Us And Get Started On The Road To Recovery

We provide experienced workers' compensation representation to clients throughout California. Tell us about your case today by calling one of our convenient locations or fill out our quick contact form.

  • San Jose: 408-624-8420
  • Oakland: 510-617-0556
  • Stockton: 209-881-9247
  • Sacramento: 916-668-7577
  • Salinas: 831-222-0988
  • Santa Cruz: 831-222-0855
  • San Luis Obispo: 805-475-3890

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