Safety authorities in California prescribe strict safety standards in all industries, tasking employers with the responsibility to protect the health and safety of their employees. Safety hazards that could cause workplace injuries exist in all occupational settings, and steps must be taken to mitigate them. Being able to recognize the different types of risks can help with taking precautions to avoid them.
Safety training is one of the most crucial aspects of any company's quest to protect the health and safety of workers, regardless of the industry. Too many workers in California suffer workplace injuries within their first few months on the job because employers did not provide safety training from day one. The first thing new hires should learn is that safety comes first -- always.
Authorities in California expressed their concern over the number of workers in the state who are victims of carpal tunnel syndrome. The California Department of Public Health says over 139,000 such cases were reported in the seven years from 2007 to 2014. Ligaments and bones form a rigid tunnel through which tendons and nerves run between the wrist and the hand. The tendons are used to bend the fingers, and the feeling in specific parts of the hand is provided by the median nerve. Repetitive use of the hands can bring about extremely painful workplace injuries.
Although the manufacturing and construction industries in California are regarded as the most hazardous work environments, other sectors also pose risks. While struck-by accidents, slips and trips that lead to falls, overexertion, and falls from heights are frequently reported workplace injuries, other not-so-common hazards exist. Lost work time usually means lost wages, which could threaten any worker's financial stability.
Following an incident in March, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health launched an investigation of which the outcome led to the proposal of a substantial fine. The business is the design studio of Adidas America Inc. with which Kanye West is affiliated. Cal/OSHA determined that the company failed to protect workers at the facility adequately, giving rise to workplace injuries.
Each industry has its own set of dangers, and the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health provides safety guidelines to mitigate most risks. However, many workplace injuries are caused by just two factors -- a lack of training and complacency. Workers who have worked with specific power tools for years become complacent and disregard safety rules. However, preventable injuries will continue to happen if workers do not receive training to teach them about potential hazards and how to protect themselves.
Very soon e-commerce fulfillment centers in California will be hives of activity with incoming stock to be ready for the demands of seasonal shoppers. Risks of workplace injuries will be higher throughout this time because it will not be long before product picking, shipping and constant replenishment of stock will take place. The fact that seasonal -- often inexperienced -- workers may come in could increase the potential of injuries.
Employers in California are responsible for the health and safety of their employees. They must inform workers of the hazards posed by their jobs, and teach them how to protect themselves from suffering workplace injuries. Safety authorities note that exposure to methylene chloride kills workers each year. It is a dangerous chemical substance used for the refinishing of baths.
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.
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.