"John Welder" gets something in his eyes while welding. He reports the incident immediately to his employer. There was no wash station, so the employer tells the welder to rinse his eyes with a bottle of water. When that does not solve the problem, John Welder says that he needs to see the doctor due to the ongoing pain. The welder's supervisor then yells at him, "damn it John, we better find that there is something in your eyes."
I was contacted today by a woman who was inquiring about filing a medical malpractice action against her former knee surgeon. In late 2012, her surgeon made a mistake during a total knee replacement procedure. He acknowledged doing so, and the woman has been left with chronic problems ever since.
Workers' compensation carriers in California routinely deny necessary treatment to injured workers to avoid paying on claims. However, this shortsightedness often leads to greater payments and higher costs for the system. The following is an actual example from a case Butler Viadro provided representation. A California peace officer sustained an on the job injury to her back which ultimately required surgery. As part of the surgery, this injured worker had a catheter inserted into her urinary tract/urethra. Following the surgery, she developed a urinary tract infection, and her surgeon prescribed antibiotics. The workers' compensation carrier refused to authorize the antibiotics stating the infection was not related to her back injury.
While the sunny weather that California is known for is often cited as a reason for visiting the state, high temperatures can be hazardous to workers who perform many or all of their duties outdoors. OSHA has no specific standard for illnesses caused by heat, but California has made protecting outdoor workers a top legislative priority. OSHA data shows that more than 30 workers lost their lives in 2012 due to heat exposure, and thousands of others suffered an illness or injury.
As some California employers may know, it is important to keep the workplace safe and provide care for injured employees. It is also mandatory for employers who have a certain number of workers to provide workers' compensation insurance. The Occupational Safety and Health Act provides guidance on how this should be done.
The difficulties faced by injured workers in California and throughout the country are highlighted in a new report from the Department of Labor. The report calls the workers' compensation system inadequate and estimates that only 21 percent of medical costs and lost wages are paid by workers' compensation. Workers are left trying to pay for the rest while making ends meet.
Workers who utilize handheld power tools as a part of their regular job duties are at risk from suffering vibration injuries over time. Such vibration injuries can lead to a loss of feeling in the hands, a lessening of the ability to grip and other debilitating problems. Vibration injuries may also cause lower back problems and other associated issues if the injury is a whole-body one.
As some residents of California may know, of the number of occupational health problems related to work in the Manufacturing Sector, hearing loss is the most common. According to a recent survey, only severe hearing loss was considered to be statistically significant, and the number of hearing impaired individuals due to work-related issues may be considerably higher if lower levels of impairment were considered.
Many people are seriously injured or killed in workplace fall injuries every year. These injuries occur across industry types, with the highest number of fatalities coming from the construction industry. Health services, wholesale and retail workers together comprised the greatest number of nonfatal fall injuries while at work.
California workers should know that career-ending injuries may happen in nearly any line of work. Accidents in the workplace may occur at even the most safety-conscious businesses, authorities say. The most common workplace accidents can cause back injuries, spine damage and debilitating pain in the joints. Although many on-the-job injuries are minor, some workers become financially crippled by their work-related injuries, suffering lost wages, costly hospital bills and the cost of rehabilitation and recovery.