Firefighters come from all over to help during the wildfire season across California. Some of them suffer workplace injuries here. One out-of-state firefighter suffered severe burns to his stomach and legs while fighting fires in October. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has launched an investigation into the incident.
All construction sites pose safety hazards, regardless of how careful the project is planned. Some of the most frequently reported workplace injuries in this industry are fall-related. Slips or trips can cause falls from elevated construction areas, and in many cases, workers are struck by objects that cause them to fall. For that reason, employers must provide workers with fall arrest harnesses, which might prevent tragedies such as the recent one in San Diego.
When it comes to child labor, the minimum age at which children may be employed under federal and California laws is set at 14 years. Employers in San Diego and other cities nationwide must ensure that work environments are free of known hazards, and they must provide adequate safety training to teach young workers how to mitigate risks that could cause workplace injuries. Such training must be provided in a language that the juvenile workers understand.
Administrative and office workers in San Diego are not as safe as many would believe. Along with slip-and-fall, trip-and-fall, and musculoskeletal disorder risks, working on a keyboard all day can cause repetitive stress workplace injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome. Then there is the danger of computer vision syndrome, or digital eyestrain that typically affects people who use computers, tablets, smartphones and e-readers for prolonged periods.
The gig economy is growing in San Diego and throughout California. Organizations contract independent workers for temporary positions and short-term engagements. The prevalence of this free market system and analysis by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that these independent workers are more vulnerable when it comes to workplace injuries. The at-risk group includes day laborers, on-call employees, independent contractors and workers hired through agencies.
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has strict regulations in place when it comes to heat exposure. Employers in San Diego and across the state must protect workers from suffering heat-related illnesses. As with any other fatal workplace injuries, heatstroke deaths must be reported to the agency within a limited time. Cal/OSHA recently released information about such a fatality that was only reported 12 days later.
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.