Many workers in California are exposed to the risk of animal or insect bites as a result of their occupations. In outdoor working environments especially, animals and insects may pose threats to workers. Employers should carefully identify all potential threats so the risks can be minimized.
Insects and venomous snakes are often the cause of these types of workplace injuries. Stinging insects such as bees can cause severe reactions in some employees, and dangerous illnesses can be passed along from ticks. Bites from venomous snakes also can produce a serious injury. However, although such incidents are rare, injuries can also be caused by animals like raccoons, bats, bears and rats. When animals cause injuries in the workplace, whether the victim is eligible for workers’ compensation is sometimes determined based on whether employees were at an elevated risk due to the work environment. The nature of the work as well as the condition of the workplace are also factors that are considered.
Some occupations expose employees to a higher risk of sustaining these types of injuries, especially jobs that require outside work. Even in an indoor environment, however, employers should take proactive steps to help ensure the safety of their employees, including regularly-scheduled visits by an exterminator.
Despite all safety precautions, workers in all occupations can suffer injuries in the course of their employment. In many cases, they may be eligible to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. The benefits that may be available for a successful claim can include the furnishing of necessary medical care. An attorney who has experience in this area might provide assistance to an injured worker both during the filing process as well as in a subsequent hearing should the claim be disputed or denied.