San Bernardino Legal Blog

Work-related injuries: Explosion kills 1, injures another

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has launched an investigation into an explosion at a lumber mill. Reportedly, the incident occurred on a recent Thursday around midday. Work-related injuries caused the death of one worker. The lumber mill would not provide details due to the ongoing investigation.

However, according to a report issued by the sheriff's office, two maintenance workers worked on a commercial air compressor when the explosion occurred. The cause of the blast was not known at the time of the report. Firefighters who responded after the explosion say one employee suffered fatal injuries, and he died before he could be transported to the hospital.

Man dies following work-related accident involving branch

While many people in California can readily list several occupations that may be risky, there are multiple others that are overlooked. For example, workers who are required to cut trees are often at great risk of injury while they use heavy, potentially dangerous machinery at great heights. Unfortunately, such a worker in another state recently lost his life in a work-related accident.

The incident happened during the morning hours of a day in late August. According to reports, the victim was a 59-year-old man whose identity was not released in the immediate aftermath of the incident. Reports indicate that the man was in a boom lift bucket cutting the branch of a tree at the time the accident happened.

The risks posed by power tools are underestimated

Does your job involve working with power tools like power drills, nail guns, power saws and grinders? How important is your safety to your employer? According to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, your employer must ensure a safe work environment and provide the necessary safety training to prevent work-related injuries.

Although working with power tools seems straightforward, they are dangerous enough to make you lose a finger, cause blindness and more. In many cases of power tool injuries, complacency is the cause. It is best to always work with the worst-case scenario in mind to make sure you remain alert to the potential hazards.

Compensation for work-related repetitive motion injuries

All occupations hold the potential of risk to workers. When most people think of work-related injuries, however, the first thing that comes to mind are often single accidents that occur and cause obvious physical harm, such as a broken leg. While these types of injuries are concerning and create financial complications, there are some repetitive motion injuries suffered at work that may be more insidious. Though victims in California are likely entitled to workers' compensation insurance benefits, many have difficulty getting their claim improved.

Repetitive motions injuries are caused by frequently performing the same motions. Though they may take time to develop, this type of injury is the most commonly reported injury related to work and can be both disabling and painful. Conditions include bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis. 

2 killed in construction accident at Amazon site

The Amazon website is one that many people in California and across the country have accessed for a variety of different needs. Perhaps because of their success and popularity, they have a need for construction of additional facilities. Unfortunately, a construction accident at an Amazon site in another state recently resulted in the death of two workers. 

The details regarding the accident are unclear. However, a spokesperson for the city in which the accident occurred confirmed that two people were killed. The spokesperson stated that some workers were unaccounted for in the immediate aftermath. Rescue workers had to sort through fallen debris to ensure that there were no more victims, and no other injuries were reported.

Wildfire smoke can cause work-related injuries

The typical summertime wildfires in California are particularly severe this year. However, it is not only the wildfire fighters who are at risk of smoke inhalation and other fire-related injuries and illnesses. Workers in the affected areas face similar risks. When smoke gets airborne, it can travel far beyond the fire zone. Fires consume all kinds of chemicals, and the smoke contains dangerous gases and toxic particles.

Workers who inhale the smoke risk serious health consequences. However, those with asthma or other lung diseases, chest pain or heart disease are at higher risks of health damage. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has specific safety regulations applicable in the extended zones affected by wildfires.

1 injured, 3 killed in work-related accident

There are many workers in California and across the country who are extremely skilled when it comes to completing job-related tasks. Because they have sufficient training and experience, they are able to competently do their jobs. Unfortunately, even the safest, most experienced workers are not completely able to avoid the many hazards that are found in most occupations, preventing a work-related accident.

In fact, two men recently lost their lives in an occupational accident in another state. Reports indicate that rescue workers arrived at the scene of the accident just after 8:30 a.m. on a day in early August. They report discovering three injured workers at the scene.

Security guards do dangerous work in isolation

If you are a security guard in Southern California, you put your life on the line to protect others and their property. Lone workers typically face unique hazards. If you work the night shift, the dangers you face escalate significantly.

Security guards more or less advertise that they are there to protect valuable property. This makes you a prime target for vandals and thieves who want to get to whatever you guard. The nature of your job means isolation and no readily available assistance in emergencies, illness or injury. Furthermore, you might not have contact with your employer, supervisor or co-workers throughout most of your shifts.

California officer reportedly injured at work by friendly fire

There is no doubt that police officers in California and across the country face dangers while completing their jobs. For example, when responding to a call about an armed person, the scene can become chaotic, potentially resulting in harm to officers. In fact, an officer was recently injured at work, and officials believe that her injuries may have been the result of friendly fire.

The incident that led to injuries for the female police officer reportedly happened in the afternoon hours of a day in early August. Police say that they were called to a residence in relation to a suicidal man with a pair of scissors. When they arrived at the home, they discovered a 33-year-old man and a Rottweiler; his wife, three children and mother-in-law were also in the home.

Scaffolding accidents cause serious injuries

Working at significant heights is normal for construction workers. However, just because something is normal does not mean that it is safe. Scaffolding accidents are one of the most common types of construction accidents and are responsible for a significant number of serious injuries. California employers should take smart and practical approaches to keeping their workers safe, but it appears as if many might not be prioritizing this.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration -- OSHA -- around 65% of all construction workers frequently spend time on scaffolds, and the related injuries are some of the most dangerous in the field. Falls are a risk when working on scaffolds, so workers should have access to adequate personal fall protection equipment. This includes things like harnesses, drop lines, lanyards, points of anchorage and more. A worker does not have to be physically on a scaffold to be hurt, either. Falling objects can strike unsuspecting workers on the ground, so it is important that these men and women have access to protective gear as well.

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