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San Diego - Los Angeles Workers' Compensation Blog

Postal workers subjected to extreme heat

Regardless of the weather, you probably see postal workers going door-to-door, bringing the mail to the proper homes. As common as this is, new reports show that it has been putting these workers in some dangerous situations as they face extreme heat.

In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently cited USPS (the United States Postal Service) for putting roughly 900 people at risk since 2012, exposing them to the potential for heat-related health issues and even death.

Burn injuries and body image issues

Even after they recover from their burn injuries, many people are left with scars, discoloration and other such issues. Some have deformities. Burned tissue does not always regenerate perfectly, even with proper medical care, especially when the burns were very severe.

This can lead to some significant body image issues that may last for life. These may include:

  • Feeling dependent on someone else that they trust and always wanting to stay with them in public areas
  • Feeling profound sadness or grief about the way their appearance has changed
  • Mourning the loss of physical abilities
  • Feeling anxious about being intimate with anyone else
  • Feeling anxious whenever they approach a social setting -- like a public pool -- where the scars may become more visible or harder to hide
  • Worrying about how new people feel or how they'll react
  • Feeling anxious about the questions they know people are going to ask or the way they're going to stare

Ladders falls are worse for older workers

Any construction worker who has to work on a ladder is potentially in danger of suffering serious injuries in a fall. It could be a 65-year-old worker who is one day away from retirement or an 18-year-old worker who is starting his first day on the job. Ladder falls are a significant risk and all workers need to take them seriously.

That said, studies have found that older workers are in more danger than younger workers. Specifically, experts noted that the falls older workers got involved in typically happened at lower heights, but they had "more severe injury patterns."

Construction continues to lead to deadliest accidents

If you consider the per capita fatality statistics, other industries are often "more dangerous" than construction. Examples include the logging industry and the deep-sea fishing industry.

What this really means is just that a higher percentage of workers lose their lives in these relatively small industries. If you want to look at where the deadliest accidents happen, it's always in construction. And it's not even close.

California worker dies after falling off of truck

A worker in California has tragically passed away after he fell from a truck. The incident, as reported by the Los Angeles Fire Department, happened in North Hollywood. It took place on Tujunga Avenue, a spokesperson said, at around 3:25 p.m. on Friday, June 7.

The man who died was a city worker. He was riding on the truck and placing cones on the road when he apparently slipped and fell.

8 types of neck injuries you could suffer at work

A minor neck injury, like a crick in the neck, can still be problematic enough that you feel like you can't turn your head. If you've ever woken up with one after sleeping in the wrong position, you know that you may have limited mobility unless you actively reach up and push on your chin with your hand. It's very limiting and can impact your ability to work, exercise, participate in hobbies and much more.

And that's just a minor injury that does not require medical care. It may go away all on its own if you just give it a day or two.

Can I lose my workers’ compensation benefits if I lose my job?

One question you may have if awaiting a decision on a workers’ compensation benefits claim is whether you lose your benefits if you become laid off or fired from your job. In an ideal world, employers would not penalize or terminate workers who incur injuries from workplace accidents, but in the real world, it happens all the time. Usually, denials are to delay or deny benefit claims and discourage injured workers from appealing. Though your benefits involve a variety of factors, your employment status does not automatically disbar you from receiving benefits. 

The conditions surrounding an employment layoff or termination can affect your right to continue receiving benefits. It is important for you to understand your obligations and how an employer’s actions may affect your workers’ compensation benefits. 

Key facts about amputation injuries

Amputation injuries are a serious risk for construction workers who have to use hand tools and heavy machinery every day. They can be life-changing, perhaps making it so that the person can never work again. Even with quick medical care, an amputation injury is often permanent and there is nothing that doctors can do.

To help you understand the risks you face, here are a few key facts about these catastrophic injuries:

  • Partial amputations often allow for the damaged limb to remain attached, as the muscle, tissue or bone has not been completely severed, but they sometimes require doctors to finish the amputation when damage is too severe.
  • A complete amputation, conversely, means that the limb has been completely disconnected on the site.
  • The easiest amputations to reattach are those involving sharp edges and clean cuts, as the surrounding tissue does not get damaged.
  • The hardest amputations to reattach -- it's often impossible -- are crush injuries. These not only severe the limb but also cause extensive soft tissue damage.
  • When a limb is severed with a stretching, pulling motion, it's called an avulsion amputation. Since the tissues tear at multiple levels and in different places, it leads to extensive damage, and in most cases, doctors cannot reattach the limb.

The high dangers of arc welding

An arc welder is a very useful tool in construction and metal fabrication, but it's also a very dangerous one. It's never a tool that a worker should use without proper training, experience and personal protective equipment. To do so greatly increases the odds of serious burn injuries and other types of on-the-job injuries. These can be life-changing and sometimes fatal.

Just a few of the risks that workers may face when using an arc welder include:

  • Severe burns
  • Open fires
  • Toxic fumes
  • Dust inhalation
  • Explosions
  • Radiation
  • Electrical shocks
  • Heat stress
  • Noise exposure
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