San Bernardino Workers' Compensation Law Blog

What does “fatal four” mean in construction?

Whether construction involves building a multi-story apartment building or improving roadways, there is no doubt that this industry is a dangerous one for California workers. There are countless ways to get seriously injured, or worse, in a construction accident. However, as you may know, some types of accidents occur more often than others.

In 2016, 991 construction workers lost their lives across the United States, reports the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. To further illustrate the risks you and other construction workers face, construction fatalities counted for 21.1 percent of all workplace accident deaths. Four accident types in particular were deemed responsible for 63.7 percent of construction fatalities in 2016. These accidents are known throughout the industry as the “fatal four,” and include the following:

  • Falls
  • Being struck by an object
  • Electrocution
  • Being caught in or between objects

Representing those who cannot represent themselves

Your own injuries are often things that are inherently easy to understand and process. If you broke your arm, for example, you might seek medical attention, process your doctor's diagnosis and, if applicable, seek compensation from the party responsible for the event. Many of these accidents happen every day in California. While they are serious matters, your own injuries would rarely be as confusing and enraging as those that affect your loved ones. 

It Kampf, Schiavone & Associates, we understand that people who have to go to court on behalf of someone else have an entirely different set of emotional concerns. That is why we temper our tough negotiating and litigating styles with compassion for our clients' situations. We believe that it is only by listening and discussion that we can understand the depth of the psychological and physical traumas involved in each case and seek compensation commensurate with the needs of each client.

Risks associated with unnecessary Cesarean sections

Nowadays, one out of every three babies born across California and the United States undergoes a Cesarean section delivery, making it the most common surgery currently performed in the country. Most women prefer to deliver their babies vaginally, however, and C-sections also bring with them certain risks that can affect both mother and baby. At Kampf, Schiavone & Associates, we understand that C-sections that are not medically unnecessary expose you to potential harm, and we have helped many women and families who suffered hardship following this type of delivery pursue appropriate recourse.

According to Consumer Reports, C-sections, when necessary, can help physicians work around potential birthing hazards, such as a mother’s dangerous health condition, but when doctors perform them and they are not medically necessary, they can cause more harm than good. In fact, some estimate that medically unnecessary C-sections are responsible for causing as many as 20,000 sizable surgical complications every year, calling into question whether some doctors or hospitals prefer performing C-sections because they make them more money.

Could a broken bone from a work injury end your career?

When people imagine workplace injuries that could end their careers, broken bones are likely not even on the list. After all, most people understand that broken bones typically only need to be set by a medical professional. The patient will then need adequate rest and physical therapy.

Even the most complicated spiral fractures that require surgery can usually heal almost completely. After recovery, it is possible to regain almost all the range of motion and strength that you lose while your injured bone is casted.

Hearing loss America’s most common workplace injury

When you think about the types of California jobs that are most likely to cause workers injuries, you may think about those held by construction workers, miners and loggers, among others. It may surprise you to know, however, the single-most common work-related injury in America is hearing loss, which can affect workers across these as well as numerous other industries. At Kampf, Schiavone & Associates, we recognize the prevalence of work-related hearing loss, and we have helped many clients who lost hearing because of factors relating to their work environments pursue solutions that fit their needs.

According to USA Today, more than 22 million Americans undergo exposure to dangerous levels of noise while at work every year. While those in the construction, mining and manufacturing fields are among those most likely to experience high levels of on-the-job noise, many workers across multiple other industries also undergo exposure. Additionally, those who are most at risk for work-related hearing loss may surprise you.

How often do truck drivers abuse drugs and alcohol?

Sharing the road with semi-trucks is an unavoidable part of life for residents of California, but when cars and commercial trucks collide, the drivers and passengers in the smaller vehicles are typically those that suffer most. Commercial truck-involved crashes often have devastating consequences, and in many cases, they lead to catastrophic injuries and even death. When the drivers of those semi-trucks are abusing drugs and alcohol before getting behind the wheel, such crashes become even more likely.

According to the American Addiction Centers, today’s truck drivers often face long stints on the road by themselves, which can lead to feelings of loneliness, isolation and boredom. In some cases, this leads truck drivers to turn to drugs and alcohol, but truckers who abuse substances present an undeniable threat for the entire motoring public.

Moving patients a common cause of injury among nurses

As someone who makes a living working as a nurse in California, you may understand all too well that aches, pains and ailments are immensely common among those in your line of work. However, one of your most substantial on-the-job hazards involves regularly transporting heavy patients, which can lead to sprains, strains and similar back and musculoskeletal injuries. At Kampf, Schiavone & Associates, we recognize just how common moving patients is a factor in nursing-related injuries, and we have helped many nurses and health care workers who injured themselves at work pursue solutions that meet their needs.

According to Healthcare Business & Technology, moving heavy or immobile patients is the single-biggest occupational hazard faced by today’s nurses. In fact, nurses report suffering more than 35,000 back and musculoskeletal injuries each year that are serious enough to keep them from working. While many hospitals develop programs and otherwise train their workers to utilize safe handling practices, statistics show that using proper lifting techniques only helps so much.

Victim sues employer for negligence claiming 'unsafe environment'

When people arrive at work in California each day, they have the right to work in an environment that is free of hazards. Employers should take adequate measures to train employees on how to properly use equipment and machinery to mitigate the risks that are inherent in specific jobs. Additionally, they should strive to create an environment where people are respectful of each other and understand the repercussions for behavior that is not in line with company standards and protocols. 

American Airlines is facing a lawsuit from one of their flight attendants who was involved in a brawl with a co-worker and is alleging that her employer acted negligently in investigating the incident. She also claims that she was required to work in an unsafe environment that ultimately led to her being assaulted by her coworker who is also a flight attendant for American Airlines. 

What are the risks of VBAC?

If you are a woman in California who has already had one baby delivered via cesarean section, and if you are pregnant again or thinking about having more children, you may want to have a discussion with your doctor about the risks of vaginal birth after cesarean section.

You may have heard that you cannot, or should not, deliver a baby vaginally after you have had a C-section, but that is not necessarily true. According to the Mayo Clinic, while some women are not good candidates to attempt VBAC, 60 to 80 percent of women who attempt a trial of labor after cesarean accomplish a successful vaginal delivery.

What are the risks of general anesthesia?

Many surgeries performed in California occur while the patient is under general anesthesia. If you are considering surgery, or have one scheduled in the near future, you may have questions regarding the risks involved.

Anesthetics are drugs used to prevent you from feeling pain during surgery. General anesthesia renders you completely unconscious, making it different from local anesthesia, which only numbs a small portion of your body. 

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