Anyone in the country who watches the news is aware of the fact that a deadly virus -- Ebola -- is threatening the lives of Americans. Workers in certain seem to share a greater risk of contracting the virus. They include healthcare workers, laboratory workers and emergency responders. Therefore, the California Department of Public Health and Cal/OSHA announced certain safety recommendations for anyone in a high-risk profession to follow in an effort to reduce the possibility of a workplace accident involving exposure to Ebola.
At the end of February, a luggage worker at one of California's largest airports died ("California luggage worker dies in workplace accident at LAX," March 3, 2014). The man was not properly restrained when he fell off a tow tractor while working at the airport. Now, the California division of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has completed its investigation into the workplace accident that took his life.
It may not seem to many California residents that doing maintenance on a golf course would be hazardous work. However, every job has its own set of dangers. For instance, a contractor was recently killed in a workplace accident at PGA West's Private Course, named for Jack Nicklaus. Now, the California Division of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has come in to conduct an investigation.
Back in 2009, a man working at a large retailer's distribution center here in southern California was killed. The deadly workplace accident occurred when the man fell into a machine that bales and compacts cardboard. Recently, it was announced that the company will be paying a $950,000 fine in lieu of criminal prosecution for the man's death, and will make sure all of its machines are working properly and make sure that the safeguards for the machines are in place. The company also waived its right to appeal the decision.
Mechanics here in California and elsewhere who work on large vehicles such as buses or tractor-trailers often find themselves risking injury to do so. Recently, a mechanic suffered fatal injuries to which he succumbed while on the job. The circumstances surrounding this workplace accident are under investigation.
Imagine for a moment that your job requires you to drive to and from job sites. One day, while on the job, you are involved in a serious motor vehicle accident and suffer serious injuries. Did you know that an on-the-job accident such as this qualifies you for workers’ compensation benefits? Would you know to file a claim?
According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon boasted $74.45 billion in revenue in 2013. The surge of orders just around December alone prompted the company to hire 70,000 full-time seasonal employees to work at distribution centers across the nation, including here in California. But as our San Diego readers will soon see, these temporary work environments could pose a safety risk to workers.
After more than 15 years of doing research and sleep studies, it became very clear to experts that the amount of sleep a person gets can have a significant impact on their day-to-day lives. This was most important when applied to how a person functioned in their job. And for truck drivers, sleep deprivation is not just a problem that affects them but rather everyone on the roadway.
When it comes to keeping us safe on the job, we expect that if our employer knows about a danger that they will do whatever is necessary to keep us out of harm's way. But a terrifying accident in another state this month is once again highlighting for our California readers that this isn't always the case. It also further shows how this negligence can affect other people's lives as well.
On the list of things we can’t control in life, Mother Nature is perhaps at the top of that list. In particularly devastating natural disasters, lives can be lost and injuries can be suffered. But sometimes, it’s the damage that Mother Nature causes to our infrastructures that can then lead to serious injury or death. And if this happens while a person is on the job, it’s possible that workers’ compensation benefits could soon follow.