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San Jose Workers' Compensation Blog

Police officers must not disregard signs of cumulative PTSD

If you are a member of the California police force, you may not understand the ways in which the stresses of your job affect you. While post-traumatic stress disorder is typically associated with soldiers and other military force members, few people realize that a different type of PTSD takes a heavy toll on the lives of police officers and their loved ones. The stress soldiers suffer usually results from a single event or brief exposure to extreme trauma, while police officers could experience multiple disturbing situations each day.

For that reason, the condition that manifests over time in members of the police force after exposure to multiple stress-related and traumatic events goes by the name of cumulative PTSD. Although you might receive trauma counseling after a single traumatic event, the gradual accumulation caused by daily incidents might go unnoticed and untreated.

Accident kills construction worker at school

Work accidents can happen in any kind of job in California. Some of these accidents can lead to serious injuries and death. Of course, those in more dangerous types of employment will bear a greater risk of being in an accident. For families who receive that unexpected call that a loved one was killed in a work accident, they are frequently unaware of what to do. To make certain they are protected, having legal assistance is imperative to receive compensation.

A construction worker working on a project at a high school died in an accident. The project was for a new shop building at the school. The man was taken via air for treatment after the accident and died the next day. The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the incident. The investigation into the accident is ongoing.

Mass production and repetitive stress injuries go hand in hand

San Jose and surrounding areas are excellent sources of American manufacturing, and the city's location in the midst of the booming Silicon Valley provides jobs to thousands of assembly line workers. Do you have your spot on an assembly line? Regardless of whether you work in an electronics or automotive manufacturing plant, once you have mastered repeatable tasks, you are a potential victim of carpal tunnel syndrome or other repetitive stress conditions.

The concept of mass production is the specialization of workers by teaching them to master repetitive tasks. While assembly lines simplify the responsibilities of workers, they can cause injuries that lead to musculoskeletal disorders and lost workdays. In fact, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, some of the most frequently reported injuries involve MSDs.

Report indicates rise in repetitive stress injuries in California

To many, the idea of workplace injuries in California might create the image of people who are working physical jobs or are in high-risk occupations. While those who do these types of jobs are frequently injured and need workers' compensation benefits, injuries are not limited to these career paths. People who work in a wide variety of jobs can suffer workplace injuries and need workers' compensation benefits. Understanding these jobs and the frequency with which people make claims to get benefits can be useful when pursuing workers' compensation.

A new report using information from the Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau says that the number of claims for people who are suffering from cumulative trauma has risen by half in the past decade in the state. 40 percent of them are being made after the employee has been dismissed from the job. The agency assessed workers' compensation cases for people who suffered injuries from repetitive employment. The repetitive nature can be traumatic in a mental and physical way. These claims indicated the increasing numbers.

Collapse of rebar in construction accident injures three workers

Construction is rampant across Northern California. This includes commercial properties, personal residences, apartment buildings and maintenance for roads and public transport systems. While this is beneficial to people and the economy, any construction project will carry with it a certain level of risk to those performing the work. Large vehicles, heavy equipment, tools, and putting the trust in other workers and the company to ensure safety can be dangerous. When there is an accident, it can lead to serious injuries and death. For those who have been hurt or lost a loved one in a fatal construction accident, can be beneficial to have legal assistance for a lawsuit to receive compensation.

A reinforcing bar - also referred to as a rebar - fell and caused injuries to three construction workers. The accident occurred at shortly before 9 a.m. The workers had been strapped to the rebar tower when it fell. It fell on top of them. Other workers lifted it off them. One worker had a leg injury, a second was moderately injured, and the third was critically injured. The rebar is believed to have collapsed because it was made overweight by the three workers attached to it. The project is for a multi-faceted development with residences and retail properties. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) is investigating the accident.

What if there is a delayed or denied claims with my treatment?

Workplace injuries, illnesses or conditions are serious concerns for Californians who suffer from them. This is why they think that workers compensation benefits are the safety net that should allow them to lex so they can improve and return to full health. However, it is not always guaranteed that treatment will be provided or that it will be given in a timely manner. When a worker believes the denial or delay in treatment is unwarranted, there are options to complain and even receive payment for compensation after the delay or denial.

When there is a delay or a denial for treatment from the claims administrator for the case, there must be a reasonable excuse for this. If there is not one, the worker can be compensated. There can be a penalty payment for as much as 25 percent of the value of each service that was subject to delay or denial. The maximum amount that can be awarded is $10,000. A legal professional can be of assistance when seeking to get penalty payments. Also, an Information and Assistance officer (I&A) should be called.

Manual materials handling can be back breaking

Manual handling of materials is one of the primary causes of musculoskeletal injuries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says cumulative trauma and overexertion cause missed workdays in various industries nationwide, including California. Lifting heavy objects cause strains and sprains that often lead to long-term health problems.

Typical injuries that you might suffer include pulled muscles, back sprains, elbow and wrist injuries, spinal injuries and other strains, sprains and tears to ligaments, tendons and muscles. Few workers stop to consider the size, weight and other aspects of an object before lifting it, and when they realize that it is too heavy, the damage is already done. You can take precautionary steps that might increase your chances of avoiding MSDs, but eliminating manual handling is the single best protection.

Report examines repetitive stress and carpal tunnel in California

Workplace injuries and conditions in California were once considered limited to obvious issues such as broken bones, cuts, head injuries, spinal cord damage and more that were clear to the eye. However, certain jobs carry with them inherent risks that people are fundamentally unaware of until they are experiencing them. Repetitive stress conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome fall into this category. Carpal tunnel can be debilitating, especially for those who work with their hands. Keeping track of research and information related to carpal tunnel can be helpful to those who might have it and are filing workers' compensation claims because of it.

Carpal tunnel stems from the median nerve becoming compressed. The person will feel weak, numb, have tingling or pain in the hand and wrist area. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a report regarding carpal tunnel syndrome. The goal was to look for trends and find which workers were at highest risk for developing it. The report looked at the number of claims related to carpal tunnel in industries from 2007 through 2014 and in occupations for 2014. It then calculated how frequently it occurs.

Does your job place you at risk for hearing loss?

Depending on where you work and what your job requirements are, it is possible you could be facing certain physical risks when you show up on the job. Occupational hearing loss is a real possibility for some workers, and it is beneficial for you to know if you are at risk. It is also helpful to know what you can do to protect both your physical well-being and financial stability.

Occupational hearing loss occurs when a person's job environment is loud or exposes a person to certain vibrations to the extent that it affects his or her hearing. Hearing loss can be temporary or permanent, and it can affect your ability to work and earn a living. Workers who experience this could have grounds to seek benefits though workers' compensation.

Plywood falls on man in fatal construction accident

If there is a perception that construction accidents are common in San Jose and throughout California, it is an accurate belief. There are always many commercial and private construction projects in progress and with that comes the risk that there will be a construction accident. Given the nature of the work, these accidents can result in fatalities. For families who have lost a loved one in a fatal work-related accident of any kind, having legal advice is imperative as they seek to move beyond the loss and get the compensation they need to cover expenses and make ends meet.

A man working construction died when plywood fell on him. The accident happened in the morning at shortly before 9 a.m. as the man, 59, was seated next to lumber. They were against the frame of the building when the fell on top of him. Emergency services were called and the man was unresponsive. He had severe injuries and went into cardiopulmonary arrest. He was declared dead at the site. The area was closed for several hours as an investigation was conducted. The project involves building on empty lots. The investigation is ongoing.

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