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Workers' compensation benefits helpful in California industry

A variety of hazards are present in any workplace, and this is especially true for people who work in the industrial setting. These hazards, ranging from rusty pipes to equipment that has not been well maintained, can pose a serious threat to the health and safety of workers in California -- hence the need for workers' compensation benefits. Experts now are pushing for major changes in how industrial safety is regulated and practiced following a workplace accident that occurred in the state.

In this 2012 accident, a pipe inside a unit at a California Chevron USA Inc. refinery burst, and a big vapor cloud ended up surrounding the employees there. The cloud caught fire, but the employees escaped critical injuries. Investigators discovered that the pipe was rusty and that the company had not upgraded its piping or used safer design standards.

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board is emphasizing that change is needed in how industrial safety is approached in the workplace. For instance, companies should be required to describe how serious hazards will be controlled by producing case reports. This forces businesses to assume more responsibility over reducing workplace risks.

Companies that practice industrial safety can prevent major accidents that can lead to serious illnesses and injuries. Still, many businesses lack essential safety principles and standards, or they have outdated equipment. This is one reason why most companies have to buy insurance that covers worker injuries or illnesses attributable to employment in California. Workers' compensation benefits allow people to cover medical costs or lost wages that are linked to a work-inflicted injury or sickness. Knowing the law may enable them to maximize the benefit amounts they end up receiving.

Source: The Charleston Gazette, Stricter industrial-safety rules sought, Ken Ward Jr., Dec. 28, 2013

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