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Jobs at risk for slips and falls during January

The winter months tend to be the most common times of the year for workers to slip and suffer a fall injury. A large portion of the nation deals with colder weather that can freeze the sidewalks and harsh winds that can throw off their balance. January is often the peak of the season where the cold and hazardous conditions are at their worst.

With California, the effects of winter can vary. Some parts of the state have ski resorts, while others won’t see a single snowflake. However, even those areas often see an increase in rainstorms around this time, so the threat of a fall injury is still present. At last year’s OSHA Summit, there were over 20,000 fall injuries in California back in 2015 alone. It is often the outdoor positions who have the highest risk, so the following workers should watch their steps outside for the season:

Californians living with paralysis face significant expenses

When a person in California is paralyzed in a car crash, workplace accident, or sporting accident, they may find their whole world has turned upside down. Not only must they relearn how to perform basic tasks, if they are able to perform these tasks at all, but they may also find that their injury keeps them from ever being able to work again. This is significant, as data from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center taken from 2010 to 2014 reveals just how expensive living with a spinal cord injury can be.

On average, a person with high tetraplegia will sustain over $1 million in health care and living expenses during the first year they are injured, and almost $185,000 in health care and living expenses each subsequent year. On average, a person with low tetraplegia will sustain approximately $769,000 in health care and living expenses during the first year they are injured, and approximately $113,000 each subsequent year.

Small farm inspections lack safety in most of the nation

It’s no secret that workers in the agricultural industry have some of the most dangerous professions out there. According to the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) CDC, nearly 100 workers are at risk of suffering a lost-work-time injury every day. There are hundreds of thousands of workers in the field throughout the country making a living, and a significant portion of them are in California.

However, the industry might be more hazardous than most of the nation realizes. A recent report by the nonprofit organization called FairWarning reveals that there are many farms out there that do not receive proper safety inspections as the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is barred from inspecting them. Californian farmers and their families should be aware of how these investigations work in our state to know who they can rely on if there is a severe injury or fatality in the workplace.

Cell phone bans reduce motorcyclist fatalities

Researchers from two Florida universities compared the number of traffic fatalities with each state’s laws regarding handheld electronic devices. The team hoped to prove cell phone bans reduced traffic accidents and along with it, injuries and death. Their findings were surprising.

California company fined after deadly trench accident

People can appreciate that construction work can be dangerous. However, that makes it all the more important for employers in the construction industry not to cut corners, especially when it comes to worker safety. Should they fail to follow applicable safety rules, it could lead to disaster.

Cal/OSHA recently issued a fine of over $141,000 to a construction company, after an investigation into a fatal trench accident revealed nine safety violations. The incident began when the company put together a trench box. Several days later, a worker was in the trench compacting dirt while at the same time a second worker was taking apart the rails that were put into place to stop a cave-in of the trench. A hook used to lift the rails up was faulty, and a two-ton rail ended up falling onto the worker compacting dirt.

Helping Californians who suffer career-ending orthopedic injuries

When a person in California thinks of the types of injuries that could render one permanently unable to work, they might initially think of very severe medical conditions such as paralysis, amputations or burn injuries. However, other injuries, such as orthopedic injuries, can also make it impossible for a person to work and earn an income. Thus, orthopedic injuries can significantly impact not just a person's health, but also their livelihood.

Some types of orthopedic injuries include: broken bones; joint injuries; back injuries; spinal cord injuries and knee injuries. Some of these injuries can be suffered in a single incident, or they can come after years of wear and tear through repetitive motions. However, what is important to keep in mind is that employers are obligated to keep employees safe. If an orthopedic injury was caused by the negligence of one's employer, the victim may want to learn more about his or her legal options.

Fully autonomous cars to arrive in California

Technology in the automobile industry is increasing at a rapid rate, particularly with regards to self-driving vehicles. Several companies have already put autonomous vehicles on the roads, albeit with a human conductor in them. However, Waymo, Google's autonomous car company, is set to test totally driverless cars on California roadways.

Recently, Waymo received regulatory approval to have autonomous vehicles run in California without backup drivers. The vehicles may go as fast as 65 miles per hour. However, the vehicles will still be monitored by a human engineer at a remote location. This person will be allowed to steer and decelerate the autonomous cars if necessary.

Wage loss can be a greater threat than medical bills

If you or a family member has been injured or become sick, it probably comes as no surprise to you that the medical bills can set you back, as can the lost income from taking the time you need to recover. But the financial hit is not just limited to the time you are out of work. As reported in The New York Times, data now show that the economic impact of wage loss is a greater threat to economic security than medical bills themselves. For people who are in their fifties, being hospitalized correlates with a 20 percent decrease in income that lasts for more than six years.

 

California sees uptick in cumulative trauma claims

When a person thinks of workplace injuries, they may picture a worker suffering an injury based on a one-time incident, such as straining to lift something heavy or falling off a ladder. However, some injuries build up over time simply by performing normal workplace duties. Known as cumulative trauma injuries, these injuries are increasingly giving rise to workers' compensation claims.

There has been a 50 percent uptick in workers' compensation claims in California based on cumulative trauma injuries, according to the Workers Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California. The report examined claims based on injuries that were caused by repetitive physical or mental tasks. The hospitality sector and manufacturing sector have seen the biggest uptick, at 14 percent and 22 percent respectively.

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