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Los Angeles Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Do you believe you have grounds for a wrongful termination case?

There are many different forms of employment discrimination. Some companies discriminate in their hiring processes or in their decisions related to promotions and career advancement. Others may choose to terminate workers for discriminatory reasons.

Losing your job is a disheartening experience, especially if you believe that discrimination played a role. Workers who lose their jobs because of protected characteristics, including their age, race, religion or disability, may have grounds to pursue a wrongful termination lawsuit. It's important that you understand how California views employment and what responsibilities fall to you as someone attempting to prove wrongful termination.

Workplace injuries: Slips and trips mostly caused by human error

Occupational slips, trips and falls remain at concerning levels. Based upon an analysis of a survey and the responses of approximately 1,300 workplace safety authorities in California and other states, it was determined that more than half the slip-and-trip incidents in workplaces could be due to human factors. Despite awareness programs and concerted efforts to reduce the number of workplace injuries caused by this type of accident, slips and trips continue to form a significant percentage of overall occupational injuries.

Data gathered from the responses indicated that housekeeping issues caused 16 percent of slips and trips while 25 percent results from wet and slippery surfaces. In contrast, 54 percent of these incidents involved human factors. Typical solutions for prevention of fall injuries caused by slips and trips include non-slip mats and efficient housekeeping.

A brain injury from an accident can leave you unable to work

Unlike spinal cord injuries and catastrophic injuries to limbs, which have a visible impact on a victim, the effects of a serious traumatic brain injury (TBI) are often invisible. However, they can have severe, even lifelong consequences for the victim. While motor vehicle accidents are among the leading cause of TBI, long-term damage to the brain can result from any blow to the head or problems resulting from a cut-off of oxygen; including birth injuries to the baby or problems under general anesthesia. 

Hospital workers lack protection against workplace injuries

Safety authorities believe hospital safety awareness nationwide, including in California, focuses mainly on patients and not enough on employees. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says working in a hospital is the most dangerous occupation in the country. A safety consultant says the areas of most concern are bloodborne pathogen risks, workplace violence, back injuries and other musculoskeletal workplace injuries.

Hospital workers are exposed to hazards present in their environments as well as by the processes they use. The risks include radiological and chemical hazards along with mechanical irritants that cause harm through physical contact, inhalation or absorption. Furthermore, respiratory threats come in the form of gases, fumes, fogs, mists, smokes, vapors and sprays. OSHA requires employers to provide hospital workers with respiratory devices, protective barriers, shields and protective clothing along with devices to protect their extremities, heads, faces and eyes.

How the Americans with Disabilities Act affects disabled workers

Disabled workers in the United States are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that became law in 1990. Its passage was designed to try to level the playing field for workers with disabilities.

Under the terms of the ADA, companies are required to make "reasonable accommodations" that allow workers with disabilities to obtain jobs and fulfill their employment requirements.

Cal/OSHA aims to reduce workplace injuries from falls

The number of injuries that follow falls in the workplace remains a concern nationwide. However, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has established more stringent safety rules than other states to address the prevalence of falls from heights. These state-specific requirements aim to implement measures in all workplaces to combat slip, trip and fall accidents and the workplace injuries they cause.

While federal safety rules require fall protection devices and systems for elevated levels of four feet and higher, Cal/OSHA sets the risk level at 30 inches. Any working level that is more than 30 inches above the ground must have guardrails, and this includes areas such as roof edges or openings, landings with glazed or open sides, ramps, runways or platforms. Additional rules like the need for safety nets and fall arrest harnesses are based on industries and jobs performed.

Your employer should help you, not punish you, after an injury

After a work injury, you should receive medical benefits that cover all the costs of your injury with no co-pay or deductible. If your injury keeps you from working for a significant amount of time, you should also receive temporary disability benefits. Those will replace a portion of your paycheck.

Workplace accidents could be caused by third parties

Construction workers in California face so many hazards that they might not always take the necessary precautions. Some incidents that cause occupational injuries might not even be considered as potential risks. This often applies to cases in which workplace accidents are caused by third parties with no links to the same employer.

An emergency was reported at approximately 7:30 a.m. on a recent Tuesday in South Lake Tahoe. A rescue crew rushed to the scene, which was a condominium construction site on the south shore. They arrived to find a critically injured construction worker who was then airlifted to a hospital.

Doing the same task at work all day could lead to serious injury

When people think of workplace injuries, they commonly imagine catastrophic accidents. While it is true that anticipated events at work, such as malfunctioning machinery or a backfiring tool, can lead to severe injuries, sometimes workers end up hurt without any major triggering event. In fact, some of the most debilitating and painful work-related injuries don't occur as the result of trauma.

Instead, these injuries develop over time because workers perform the same tasks repeatedly. These injuries, called repetitive motion injuries, can affect your muscle, bones and connective tissue. They are common for people in all lines of work, from professional drivers and office workers to people who work in manufacturing.

Workplace accidents: Firefighter killed when bulldozer rolls over

Lives of firefighters are put on the line during devastating wildfires in California every summer. Workplace accidents in these circumstances are not surprising because of the unpredictability of the fires. This year's blazes have already claimed the life of one firefighter, and flags in California's capital are flying at half-staff in honor of the deceased man.

Authorities report that the 36-year-old man was operating a bulldozer not far from Yosemite National Park when he suffered fatal injuries on a recent Saturday. The fire chief said the man used the machine to establish a fire break to prevent the spreading of the blaze when the bulldozer rolled over. The massive machine landed on top of the firefighter, causing his death.

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