San Bernardino Workers' Compensation Law Blog

What are the real causes of workplace back injuries?

As you probably know, back injuries are among the most common causes of employee disability in California. Your spine is a complex system of bones, ligaments and discs, and it is highly susceptible to damage under certain circumstances. However, the cause that seems most obvious to you may not be the only factor in a back injury. 

In fact, back injuries are quite frequently due in part to small stresses that accrue damage over time. Even if you see someone injured during a catastrophic accident, such as a fall or an improper lift, the resulting acute injury might have been made possible by various chronic stressors. 

Can a brain injury cause vision problems?

Being struck in the head, whether as a result of a vehicular accident or an accident on a California jobsite, can do more than just cause traumatic brain injury. Trauma inflicted on the human brain can produce a variety of delayed reactions, including damaging a person’s ability to see. According to the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (MSKTC), TBI sufferers may experience a number of problems with their vision.

Blurry vision is one common outcome of a brain trauma. With blurred vision, people may have problems looking at things or people up close. Double vision can also result, with a person seeing the same image twice. TBI can also result in a loss of peripheral vision. In this case, a person will have problems seeing off to the sides. Additionally, brain injury victims may lose vision completely in one eye, or even go blind in both eyes.

What are ways to reduce construction workplace accidents?

California construction sites present their share of hazards, and as such, it is important for construction managers to find ways to prevent accidents or to stop previous accidents from reoccurring. According to an article run on the Industrial Safety & Hygiene News website, construction accidents generally result from two general causes, namely unsafe acts or unsafe conditions. Understanding these two sources of workplace injury can assist in reducing the risk of accidents on the jobsite.

Committing an unsafe act is entirely up to the worker. Unsafe acts are when a worker fails to perform a duty with diligence, professionalism and caution. For example, when it comes time to lift heavy objects, a worker should lift with the legs while keeping the back straight to prevent back injury. A worker can also act with due diligence by using equipment that is in working order and not defective. Conversely, trying to work with a machine with a frayed electrical cord can invite the risk of electric shock. With the proper training, a worker can understand how to perform tasks in a safe and professional manner.

Hip dislocation: Complications and recovery

The thought alone of suffering a dislocated hip is probably enough to make you cringe. This is a serious injury that results in extreme pain and discomfort, at least until you receive treatment from a qualified medical professional.

A hip dislocation can be the result of many types of accidents, such as a slip-and-fall or motor vehicle crash. Regardless of the cause, you need to receive treatment and follow the orders of your medical team.

What are 4 common causes of ladder accidents?

A California construction site is an inherently dangerous place, and every time you show up to your job, you run the risk of suffering an injury related to your work environment. While working around heavy machinery, scaffolding and near-constant noise can prove risky in and of itself, there are also numerous hazards posed by working on or near ladders.

Per Industrial Safety & Hygiene News, many modern ladder accidents and injuries result from similar circumstances, and using a ladder that is overly heavy is among the most common culprits. When working construction, you may use and move your ladder numerous times throughout the day, and if your ladder is too heavy, this can lead to sprains, strains and repetitive motion injuries. If the ladders you use at work are too heavy, tell your employer. Nowadays, manufacturers often rely on fiberglass and other lightweight materials during fabrication to reduce ladder weight and help prevent injuries.

What are falling objects and how can they be prevented?

According to OSHA, one of the leading causes of construction workplace accidents is being struck by an object. The nature of construction activity in California construction sites can be hazardous and if a worker is not properly prepared or vigilant, someone can get hit by an object. Such accidents can result in small abrasions, but can also become very serious, with people suffering concussions or even death from an object impact.

OSHA states than an individual is at risk from falling objects if he or she steps underneath a place where overhead work is in progress. People may physically work at a high height above you, or there may be large machinery such as a crane boom that is hoisted above you, either of which can potentially drop tools or debris on you. Additionally, people in some workplaces may be at risk from flying objects. These objects can be flung at a person from the pressure or propulsion of a power tool, or from activities that pry, pull or push an object.

Vicarious liability and how it applies to medical malpractice

Medical malpractice cases are somewhat complicated because in many instances, there may be other California parties that can be held liable for medical negligence or error than just the doctor that performed the malpractice. The legal doctrine of vicarious liability often comes into play, and under certain circumstances the hospital where the malpractice occurred may also be held liable for the negligent act.

The Legal Dictionary explains that vicarious liability is a legal doctrine that imputes responsibility for injuries committed by a person to the entity that possesses a specific legal relationship with the person that performed the injury. This doctrine can be applied to relationships between a child and a parent, a spouse and his or her spouse, and an employer and employee. In the case of employers and employees, vicarious liability takes the form of the doctrine of “respondeat superior,” a doctrine that holds that an employee’s negligence occurred as part of the employee’s scope of employment.

Why loud noise can be a workplace hazard

Not all workplace injuries occur as a result of slip and falls or other physical impacts to the body. Sometimes a California workplace may actually be too noisy for its workers. According to OSHA, each year 22 million workers are subjected to workplace noise levels that can damage their hearing. If left unchecked, this kind of noise exposure can damage a worker’s hearing and possibly result in additional workplace hazards.

There are a number of signs that your workplace might be too noisy for human comfort. For one thing, you may have trouble communicating with your fellow employees. If a worker is within arm’s length of you, you should not have to shout to that worker to be heard. Also, upon leaving work, you might experience a humming or ringing sound in your ears. Additionally, you may lose some hearing temporarily when you depart your workplace.

Lower back pain and other construction injuries

Lower back pain is a common form of occupational injury for California workers. Unfortunately, due to the complicated nature of these types of injuries, it might be difficult for doctors— or even victims— to determine when exactly the incident leading to the injury occurred. 

The state labor code, retrieved from Findlaw, states the following two categories of injuries:

  • Injuries that occur from a single event, such as a scaffolding fall or a forklift accident
  • Problems that build up over time, such as repetitive stress syndrome or most mental illness

Risks associated with working on or near scaffolding

If you are among the many who make your living working on construction sites across California, you probably have at least some degree of knowledge about the dangers associated with your industry. While construction workers face numerous on-the-job risks, some of the more notable hazards involve working on or around scaffolding, or elevated, temporary work platforms. At Kampf, Schiavone & Associates, we understand that catastrophic injuries often result from scaffolding-related accidents, and we have helped many workers injured on construction sites seek appropriate recourse.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, about 65 percent of workers in the construction industry regularly utilize scaffolds, but the platforms can prove highly dangerous if not properly erected and used. Per one study, more than 70 percent of workers who suffered a scaffolding-related injury did so because the platform either gave way, or because the worker slipped or was struck by a falling object.

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