Employers must always be diligent when it comes to employee safety. This means making certain that the necessary policies/procedures are in place, conducting regular inspections and providing the necessary safety equipment. Any failure to take these steps can have severe and lasting consequences, including fines, increased workers' compensation insurance premiums and possibly an employee serious and willful misconduct lawsuit.
Employers here in California, and across the nation know full well the toll that repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) can have on a bottom line. They also know that RSIs not only affect productivity, but can also result in widespread absenteeism and increased workers' compensation defense costs.
A few days from now, many Americans will put away their Thanksgiving leftovers and turn their attention to holiday sales. In fact, many will leave the comfort of their homes during the late evening or early morning hours to take advantage of Black Friday sales advertising deep discounts on big ticket items.
It is extremely important for employers to take the necessary measures to protect their employees from serious work injuries. In fact, the failure to maintain a safe working environment can lead to significant repercussions, including an employee's workers' compensation claim, OSHA fines, increased workers' compensation insurance premiums and possibly an employee serious and willful misconduct lawsuit.
If you go to any residential construction site either here in California or across the nation, you will more than likely see workers using nail guns for a variety of tasks from fastening shingles and attaching siding to installing framing. Whatever the purpose a nail gun is ultimately used for, it's extremely important for employers to recognize that despite their utility, nail guns present an elevated risk of serious work injuries.
Last spring, one of our work injury posts discussed a tragic occurrence at Yale University where a talented senior was killed in an on-campus accident while working on a science-related project.
As discussed in prior workers' compensation defense posts, it's extremely important for employers to implement the necessary work safety measures. Not only will this protect the health of employees, but it can also result in increased productivity and perhaps lower legal costs.
Regulation over what constitutes workplace safety can be confusing for employers to navigate and understand. There are specific requirements for workplace safety, but just what is included in the definition is not always clear and is constantly changing. When an employer fails, even inadvertently or unconsciously, to stay current on new legislation it can come at a great cost.
In the world of workers' compensation defense, it is not uncommon to see a serious work injury/work comp claim go hand-in-hand with a violation from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). As such, it is also not uncommon to hear employers voice their firm objections over the OSHA violation, claiming that they were unaware of a potential problem or that OSHA regulations are unduly restrictive.
In recent news, Worksafe - an Oakland-based non-profit dedicated to promoting worker safety - recently released a rather eye-opening report on the number of serious work injuries and fatalities in the state of California.