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.
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.
Employees at LAX recently held a fundraiser for a luggage worker who was found dead at the airport. Originally, authorities believed the man's death was due to a heart attack. Recently, the California division of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration decided to conduct an investigation into the workplace accident.
Most California residents have a cell phone these days. In order to handle all of the cell phone traffic, the industry spends a great deal of time and money either updating and adding to its network of communication towers. The towers are needed to accommodate the volume and consumer demand for better and faster service. This requires men and women to put themselves at risk of being injured or killed in a workplace accident while working on the high towers.
As heavy as passenger vehicles are, they are nothing when compared to the weight of many construction vehicles. These heavy-duty vehicles are built to carry or move large amounts of materials. A workplace accident involving such machinery and equipment could easily prove fatal.
Cal/OSHA instituted a program called the California Voluntary Protection STAR (Cal VPP/STAR) program several years ago. The program is designed to recognize companies, both public and private, with outstanding safety records. Recently, a water district in southern California was recertified and holds an impressive record of having gone 600 days without a workplace accident.