The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health provides regulations and guidelines to protect construction workers. Although the agency maintains that most workplace injuries are preventable, accidents happen -- often with devastating consequences. One such a tragedy on a San Diego construction site recently claimed the life of one worker and caused serious injuries to four more.
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health is investigating the death of a subcontractor who was working at the Torrance Refinery. Reportedly, the incident occurred on a recent Thursday afternoon in North Torrance on a tank farm where the worker was repairing a tank. An incident report stated that the worker was in his 40s.
At this time every year, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health focuses on the dangers posed by the sun by reminding employers in San Diego and across the state of their responsibilities to protect employees from known hazards. The effects of heat illness can lead to workplace injuries. Employers must provide cool, shaded areas where workers can take frequent cool-down breaks when temperatures reach 80 degrees.
Almost every construction site in San Diego and across California involves excavation of some kind. If the earth's surface is cut into, creating an indentation or hole in which the width is narrower than its length qualifies as a trench. Strict safety standards are in place to prevent workplace injuries caused by collapsed trench walls. When such a catastrophe happens, workers can be buried under 3,000 pounds of soil, or more, in the blink of an eye.
Loading docks are areas that could be particularly hazardous in distribution centers, warehouses, manufacturing plants and fulfillment centers in San Diego and other California cities. With the primary activities in these facilities focused on receiving goods and then distributing the merchandise, loading docks are typically hubs of activity. For this reason, establishing safety protocols is crucial for the prevention of workplace injuries.
Data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics cause concern among safety authorities about the prevalence of trench collapses that cause about 25 fatalities nationwide each year, including San Diego. Reportedly, 75% of trench-related deaths are caused by cave-ins, while electrocutions and struck-by incidents cause the balance. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration use emphasis campaigns each year to underscore the hazards trench workers face, and also to increase enforcement of safety standards to prevent workplace injuries.
American trucking associations focus on construction zone safety nationwide, including around cities like San Diego during April each year. Their goal is to get all operators of vehicles of all sizes and types to travel through work zones as if they work there. They believe that if all drivers take precautions, workplace injuries among construction zone workers can be prevented.
Construction sites in San Diego and across the state of California pose numerous life-threatening hazards. This was the case at an Oxnard building site where two construction workers suffered workplace injuries on a recent Thursday. The accident happened on the construction site for a 60,000-square-foot building.
Although most workers in San Diego are aware of the cave-in risks linked to trench work, other hazards exist of which they might not be aware. Two workers who were members of a trench-digging crew last summer might have taken precautions to prevent workplace injuries in the event of a cave-in. It appears they were unprepared for the risk of contracting Coccidioidomycosis -- also known as Valley Fever. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health recently issued citations for safety violations to the underground construction company that employed the workers.
Workers in all industries can find themselves in situations in which they are exposed to bloodborne pathogens. However, health care workers, first responders and housekeepers in San Diego's hospitality industry are at the highest risk. Bloodborne pathogens are microorganisms that could be present in human blood, and they could cause infections.