Rezai & Associates
Big-firm resources with a personal touch
Let Us Help! 888-647-9621

Southern California Injury Law Blog

OSHA regulations and anchor points

Some California employees and employers may have misread a regulation from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration that deals with fall protection. Many people believe that an anchor point must be able to support 5,000 pounds per person or it is useless. However, this is not exactly what the regulation states.

While this is one requirement, the regulation offers an alternative. The anchorage can also be part of a fall arrest system that has a minimum safety factor of 2.

Enforcement critical for workplace safety, says ex-OSHA head

Strong enforcement of regulations for workplace safety is one of the most effective things the government can do to protect employees in California and across the United States, according to the former head of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. In testimony before the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protection, he said programs that focus on voluntary employer compliance and participation produce only limited benefits for workers' safety in comparison to enforcement.

Workers in dangerous industries, factories or conditions face the greatest risk of injury or occupational disease. In many instances, these cases can be concentrated in certain companies, work sites or industries. On the other hand, voluntary employer programs often involve workplaces that were already quite safe and include wealthy companies with relatively well-paid staff. For other workers, however, government enforcement of strong standards and regulations for employee protection is the most critical in order to reduce the number of injuries in the workplace.

Tree care employers receive new OSHA guidelines

Tree care workers and business owners in California will want to know about a new OSHA document that addresses five major hazards in their industry. The two-page document, which was published in early February, lays out risk factors, gives employers tips on how to mitigate hazards and provides other resources.

Currently, there is no official OSHA standard for the tree care industry. Instead, OSHA relies on various guidelines to address the industry dangers. A petition to create a permanent standard prompted OSHA to issue an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, but a lack of resources led to the removal of this from the organization's agenda.

4 hazards of working as a restaurant server

There are many hidden dangers to working as a restaurant server. One danger is all the stress that often accompanies the job. One study found that waitressing was more stressful than working as an architect or doctor. Part of this comes down to the immense workload often placed on servers without all the societal admiration that comes with being a doctor. 

From serious cuts to broken bones, there are a number of injuries servers can sustain while on the job. Workers' compensation can cover the medical costs, but it is important to be aware of the dangers restaurants can pose. 

Study links mental health factors to women's work injury rates

In California, and around the country, statistics show that male workers are more prone to injuries than female. However, a new study suggests a strong link between women's work injury rates and the presence of mental health conditions like fatigue, stress, anxiety, and depression, a link that does not generally exist among men.

The study was conducted by the Colorado School of Public Health's Center for Health, Work & Environment in conjunction with the state's largest workers' compensation insurer. Researchers analyzed the claims of more than 300 businesses, encompassing almost 17,000 employees in a wide range of industries.

The benefits of lane departure warning systems

Just 6 percent of the new vehicles on sale around the country come equipped with lane departure warning systems as standard equipment. Studies have found that such systems can prevent accidents and save lives in California, but researchers have also discovered that drivers often switch these potentially lifesaving devices off because they find the beeps they make irritating. While lane departure systems are available as an option on most new vehicles for sale in the United States, they are often packaged in with other options or only available on more expensive trim levels.

After studying the data gathered from around 5,000 accidents that took place in 2015, researchers from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that head-on collision rates were 11 percent lower and the rates of accidents that resulted in injuries were 21 percent lower among vehicles equipped with lane departure systems. These figures suggest that about 55,000 road users could have escaped injury that year if every vehicle was equipped with the technology.

Death of California tree worker results in fines

An investigation by Cal/OSHA after a worker died in a date palm orchard in Thermal concluded that the employer had not taken necessary steps to evaluate workplace hazards. Safety inspectors launched the inquiry after a bee swarm killed a 49-year-old man applying water to fruit. At least 30 bees stung him after he sprayed their nest, and anaphylactic shock ended his life.

His employer publicly expressed shock and grief at the loss of the man who had worked for the company for 27 years, but inspectors cited the company with four violations of workplace safety and health codes. Primary among the citations was the company's failure to provide training about insect threats and protective gear. The agency has imposed $41,310 in fines on the company.

Workplace injuries in California and what to do

In California, as with the rest of the country, there are certain types of occupations that pose a higher risk for injury than others. For example, construction workers face hazards ranging from heavy equipment to explosions. Restaurant workers may end up with cuts, burns or slip-and-fall injuries. Hospital workers can suffer from repetitive stress injuries and injuries to their backs and joints.

Whatever your industry, it is important for you to understand what to do if you suffer a workplace injury in California. What follows is a basic primer about California law regarding workers' compensation and some of the things you should consider if you become injured on the job.

The debate surrounding gas pumps

California employees who are required to work in enclosed spaces need safe air to breathe. In many cases, they will have access to a gas monitoring device to ensure they know exactly what the atmosphere is like in that location. Often, those monitors will have pumps attached to them. The pumps take air out of an enclosed space and transport it back to a remote location for analysis.

While this may keep a worker out of harm's way, it doesn't actually improve the monitor's ability to detect hazardous gases. Regardless of how it is used, it can only detect gas that it comes into direct contact with. Furthermore, the use of a pump may make the detection equipment heavier and use more electricity, which may reduce its run time.

Cal/OSHA enacts safety rules for hotel housekeepers

California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health has voted unanimously to approve new safety measures for hotel housekeepers. The new section is meant to keep workers safe from physical injuries and other dangers commonly found in the hospitality industry.

For example, hotel housekeepers often suffer from sprains and muscle strain as they repeatedly push heavy carts and vacuums and turn over mattresses, sometimes weighing over 100 lbs, on a daily basis. Cal/OSHA states that these injuries may require physical therapy and even lead to permanent disabilities. In 2012, to raise awareness of these issues, the hospitality union Unite Here petitioned Cal/OSHA to create a safety standard protecting these workers.


Rezai & Associates
2601 Main Street
Suite 150
Irvine, CA 92614

Toll Free: 800-498-3928
Map & Directions