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Typical causes of workplace injuries

Each industry and every work site in California, including in San Diego, pose unique safety risks. However, the National Safety Council says seven safety hazards are responsible for most workplace injuries. Safety inspectors say housekeeping and the failure to clean up spills and clutter or debris cause injuries in all sectors. The lack of control, management and proper storage of chemicals often lead to chemical burns, skin conditions and respiratory products. This applies to facilities where chemicals are used in manufacturing processes, and also where strong chemicals are used for cleaning purposes.

Safety authorities say extension cords are only to provide for temporary power, and as soon as their use becomes a permanent feature, it becomes a safety hazard. Forklifts are used in many industries, and although they pose many dangers, inspectors say that rushing and taking shortcuts due to performance pressure lead to many forklift-related workplace accidents. Lockout/tagout hazards include both the lack of installed devices to prevent accidental energizing of power during maintenance, and the lack of enforcement in facilities that have the necessary LOTO devices in place.

Confined space incidents make up a significant percentage of workplace accidents, mainly because employers fail to identify confined spaces and control access with permits as required by safety authorities. The hazards of working at heights are often not afforded the necessary attention. Workers in different industries work at elevated levels, and fall protection equipment is vital. However, a fall harness will serve no purpose if the worker is not trained in the proper use of it. Adequate safety training is one sure way to mitigate all these hazards that cause preventable injuries and deaths.

California workers who are suffering the consequences of workplace injuries might find comfort in the knowledge that the state-regulated workers' compensation insurance program will likely provide financial assistance. Many workers in San Diego choose to use the services of an experienced workers' compensation attorney to navigate the claims process for them. Benefits typically cover medical expenses and lost wages, with additional benefits for those who suffered debilitating injuries.

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