Los Angeles Unsafe Workplace Injury Lawyers
An Overview of Unsafe Work Environment Injury & Types of Accidents
Unsafe Work Environment Injury Overview
Many serious dangers to one’s safety exist in today’s workplaces, both seen and unseen. Obvious hazards such as dangerous equipment or falling debris as well as chemical and airborne toxins are just a few of the causes of unsafe working conditions.
In California, the law requires each and every employer to provide both safe employment opportunities and a safe place of employment that is healthy for all employees. California law also requires that employers do not require or allow any of their employees to enter into any unsafe work place related to their employment or to engage in any employment-related actions that are not healthful and safe.
Additionally, it is illegal to discipline, demote, suspend, discriminate against or fire any employee who complains of unsafe workplace conditions directly to his or her employer or to any government agency, or who refuses to enter a dangerous or unsafe work place. As the economic demands today require employees to work faster, harder and under fatiguing circumstances, many employers may be tempted to illegally cut corners and the incidences of work place injuries due to unsafe work environments may increase.
An employee may resign because of unsafe working conditions that are frequent and severe and in some cases recover damages due to lost wages. However, these unsafe conditions must be so serious that any reasonable person would have no alternative but to quit for their own safety to be considered valid for damage recovery.
How Unsafe Work Environment Injuries Occur
Injuries due to unsafe work environments most often occur when the employee or innocent bystander interacts with machinery, chemicals, electricity or gas. Some instances of unsafe working conditions that result in injuries are: improperly constructed scaffolding, accidents involving cranes, machinery or motor vehicles, elevator accidents, electrocutions, gas explosions or burns caused by fire or chemicals, injury and illness due to exposure to asbestos, lead or toxic chemicals, injuries caused by equipment that is either faulty or not maintained properly, roof cave-ins and injuries caused by objects or debris falling from great heights.
Other causes may include inadequate safety conditions that lead to accidents such as improper lighting causing falls, trips or slips, improper ventilation causing inhalation injuries and other chemical damages, lack of proper warning signs in areas where there are holes, wet surfaces, uneven surfaces or other hazards, the failure to warn employees or bystanders of present hazardous or toxic materials, and improper training of employees handling and dangerous machinery or equipment.
The most unsafe work environments are in the construction, agricultural and manufacturing industries. Employees working in these industries face inherent hazards that may be compounded by negligence or faulty equipment. Many injured workers do not realize that they may not only file worker’s compensation claims but also third party or liability claims, which may more accurately compensate them for the damages of medical costs, lost time and permanent disabilities.
Unsafe Work Environment Injury Statistics
- According to the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, construction and manufacturing workers are at the greatest risk for workplace injuries due to unsafe work conditions.
- Transportation workers have the highest incidence of unsafe work environment fatalities, averaging 1,500 deaths each year.
Types Unsafe Work Environment Injuries
Unsafe work environment injuries may occur at construction sites, factories or assembly lines or agricultural operations due to falls, slips, and motor vehicle accidents, faulty or mishandled equipment or from physical altercations between two workers. Workers may fall from unstable scaffolding or ladders, may suffer electric shocks or electric burns from exposed or mishandled wiring, may become ill or disabled due to occupational chemical exposure or may suffer to fatal injuries resulting in a wrongful death. If you are injured on the job, you may want to consider calling a Los Angeles workers compensation lawyer to learn about your rights.