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Van Nuys Legal Blog

Fighting wildfires can have unexpected consequences

Wildfire season is coming up in California. This means a good paycheck for you, and fighting fires provides a physical challenge you enjoy. You can also gain satisfaction saving buildings, wildlife and scenery from destruction. However, as our team at the Law Offices of Hussain & Gutierrez is aware, your job is also a dangerous one. You can face immediate injuries on the job as well as long-term illnesses resulting from inhaling toxic particles in the smoke.

Wildfire Today explains that after serving just 10 years on a project fire crew, firefighters are 22 to 24 percent more likely to die from ischemic heart disease, cardiovascular disease or lung cancer than before they began fighting fires. After fighting wildfires for 15 to 20 years, your risk of dying from these diseases or other complications increases even more. The smoke from brush, forest and structural fires contains toxic chemicals and particles, including sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, benzine and crystalline silica, as well as particulate matter.

Things to know when preparing for an immigration interview

California is home to many immigrants who arrived here from various countries of origin. Your circumstances may not be exactly like your neighbor's, although you may find you have some experiences or challenges in common. One type of situation that can be extremely stressful is an immigration interview. If you recently received an order to appear at such a meeting, you'll want to learn as much as you can about the process ahead of time so you know what to expect.  

There are definitely certain things you want to avoid doing, as well as other things that may be beneficial toward helping you achieve your immigration interview goals. U.S. immigration law is highly complex and often changes. If you try to stay updated and fully aware of your rights, you may be able to overcome legal obstacles that arise.  

The dangerous side effects of healthcare bullying

When you graduated from high school, you hoped you had left bullying behind for good. Unfortunately, as we at the Law Offices of Hussain & Gutierrez are aware, many adults still take part in bullying behaviors at work. For countless Californians in the healthcare field, workplace bullying is a pervasive problem.

Professionals at the Journal of Emergency Medical Services claim that bullying in the healthcare industry occurs across the United States more than any other profession. You might wonder why this happens. As you know, the healthcare field is a fast-paced, high-pressure environment. You and your associates are expected to perform your jobs quickly and accurately, often while working long hours in close quarters and with little rest. Not surprisingly, these stressful elements can combine to create an ideal bullying environment.

How can I tell if my work environment is toxic?

Not all jobs are easy. Even if you enjoy your job, some aspects of work can make it challenging and at times unpleasant. For you and other Californians, your workplace can qualify as hostile. It is important to understand the factors of a hostile work environment, because the constant stress it places on you might cause health issues that you should not ignore.

Toxic workplaces often cause emotional injuries, which may be difficult to diagnose and to get approved for workers’ compensation. However, as you should understand, work-related mental and emotional illnesses can qualify for workers’ comp benefits. Your workplace might be hostile if any of the following situations apply:

  • Your employer, co-workers or clients engage in unlawful harassment and discrimination practices that you find offensive, uncomfortable or threatening.
  • When angry or frustrated, your superiors yell, belittle or threaten to demote or fire employees, rather than use positive management strategies.
  • A co-worker harasses or stalks you off the clock and away from work premises, but management has ignored your complaints.
  • Your co-workers engage in gossiping, backbiting or ostracizing you or others you work with.

Preventing the top 3 injuries nurses sustain

At the Law Offices of Hussain & Gutierrez in California, we know that as a nurse, you face a continuing risk of injury while performing your day-to-day duties. Scrubs Magazine reports that no matter where you work, be it a hospital, nursing home, doctor's office or in your patients’ homes, you should take just as good care of yourself as you do of your patients.

The top three injuries you are most likely to sustain are the following:

  1. Sprains
  2. Cuts
  3. Burns

Understanding workers compensation in california

As much as most California employees would like to think they have prepared for the worst, accidents tend to happen when one least expects them. Safety risks could become all the more prevalent in the working environment, where workers often have higher stress levels. Whether it was from attempting to multitask or a mere slip and fall, an accident on the job is a serious matter that may require workers compensation procedures.

California's Department of Industrial Relations provides an expansive booklet on state laws regarding workers compensation. With the many helpful sections available, the learning process itself can become overwhelming. Many workers may wonder which steps to take first after an accident has occurred. The DIR shares that after a worker has reported the incident to his or her employer, they must fill out a workers compensation claim. Employers must send these claims within one working day after the employee has reported the accident. Of course, the top priority involves medical care appropriate to the injury; the Department stresses that the physician can help determine when a patient can return to work, refer patients to specialists and assist with other steps of the process.

The dangers of workplace slips, trips and falls

At the Law Offices of Hussain & Gutierrez in California, we know that your workplace can be a dangerous place at times. Despite the fact that many workplaces, particularly construction sites, are full of heavy equipment and potentially dangerous machinery, the biggest danger you face in any workplace is injury from a slip, trip or fall.

Per the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, workplace slips, trips and falls account for the following:

  • 25 percent of all reported workplace accident claims
  • 17 percent of all disabling occupational injuries
  • 15 percent of all workplace accidental deaths

What is an occupational disease?

When you first hear about occupational diseases, you may wonder what exactly this term means. An occupational disease is a condition you incur while performing your job in California. If you have one of these illnesses, it is usually covered by worker's compensation.

An occupational disease can be one of several different illnesses. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, this category includes respiratory conditions, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and chronic obstructive bronchitis. These conditions are considered occupational diseases because you might incur one of them after inhaling fumes, dust or chemicals at your work place. Although it may not initially seem very serious, hearing loss is also a kind of occupational illness. This is because your hearing can be damaged if you regularly work around loud machinery. Sometimes a skin disease also qualifies as an occupational disease. This can include conditions such as eczema, chrome ulcers and rashes. You may develop one of these conditions if your skin is exposed to certain plants or chemicals.

Noise on the job may damage more than your hearing

With the rise in awareness of many work-related illnesses, your California employer may be among those who frequently sponsor regular health screenings. Health care professionals may come to your place of employment and offer testing for your overall health, vision, hearing and other types of examinations.

If you work in an industry where the levels of noise are considerably high, you may not be surprised if these health screenings reveal that you may have a significant loss of hearing. However, what you might not expect to learn is that your blood pressure is dangerously high. This is what researchers have discovered while analyzing data collected by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

Meat and poultry plants continue to endanger workers

For many in California who enjoy a good steak on the grill or prefer the health qualities of chicken breast, the thought of how that meat gets to their plates is easy to dismiss. What many fail to realize is that the men and women working in meat and poultry packing plants suffer illness and injuries at a rate higher than most in other factory jobs.

If you work in one of many meat or poultry processing plants in the area, you understand the risks involved. You may also be like 30 percent of the workforce in meat and poultry plants who are immigrants to the United States. Because of your status in this country, you may be especially vulnerable, and you may fear that reporting an illness or injury will cost you your job.

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