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Van Nuys Legal Blog

What is tinnitus?

Not all workplace injuries cause visible damage to your body. There are plenty of conditions that you cannot see that result from exposure in the work environment to hazards or other situations. Even though these conditions may be more difficult to diagnose, they still qualify as workplace injuries under workers' compensation. One such condition is tinnitus, which Medline Plus defines as a continuous noise in the ear.

The condition varies from person to person, so describing it clearly is tough. Some people may have a soft sound that just exists in the background. Others may have a loud sound that interferes with their ability to hear clearly and to function. The noise may sound like buzzing, ringing or hissing. It is any type of noise that is not present in the environment and only heard by you on a continuous basis. It is steady and never-ending. You may have the condition in just one ear or both ears.

Deadly falls in the construction industry

Construction workers face many dangers when laboring on work sites, such as electrocution, being caught in-between pieces of equipment and being struck by an object. There is a danger, however, that tops the list when discussing fatal construction injuries. More construction workers die in accidents involving falls than any other type of accident. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, one in five workplace deaths in 2016 were in the construction industry. This equates to 991 lives that were lost on worksites throughout the United States. Of these deaths, falls were responsible for more than 38 percent of the total amount.

Workers can fall from a number of places while working on site. According to OSHA data, most deadly falls, approximately one-third, were from roofs, while others were from scaffolding, ladders, structural steel, floor openings and aerial lifts. Whether workers were not taking the proper precautions to be safe at the jobsite, or the employer did not implement the required safety features, falls can cause long-term injuries and death to workers.

Does stress classify as a workplace injury?

Workers’ compensation is designed to pay for medical expenses, hospital bills and other healthcare treatment that you may need as a result of a workplace injury. Yet, workplace injuries may include more than a laceration, broken bone or traumatic brain injury. In some cases, psychological trauma may lead to workers’ compensation benefits, depending on the source and the degree of the problem. If you have been subjected to an overly stressful work environment for a prolonged period of time, you may develop symptoms, such as headaches, anxiety, nausea and heartburn, that are similar to a physical ailment. Over time, these symptoms can turn into long-lasting problems, including GERD, depression, sleeping problems, weight gain, migraines and heart disease.

In one instance, a Pennsylvania teacher filed for workers’ compensation benefits because she experienced severe stress from teaching a disorderly second-grade class. The teacher claimed that the headaches, dizziness, anxiety and nausea she was feeling was a direct result of her stressful work environment. After visiting her physician, she was instructed to stay away from her workplace so that she could fully recover. After leaving her job at the school, she developed a heart murmur and suffered a voice box injury. The workers’ compensation judge granted her benefits after carefully reviewing her case.

A work-related TBI can change your life forever

You probably woke up the morning of your accident thinking that day would be the same as every other. You got to work and began your day. Then, depending on what industry you work in and your duties, you ended up suffering some sort of work-related injury to your head.

Depending on the severity of your injury, you may have gone to see a doctor on your own or in an ambulance. In any case, you underwent an examination to determine how bad your traumatic brain injury was. Whether it turned out to be mild, moderate or severe, it will take a toll on your life, even if only temporarily. You could recover 100 percent, suffer lifelong mild effects or suffer lifelong serious effects.

What are repetitive strain injuries?

If you work in an office or factory in California, you might be experiencing symptoms of repetitive strain injuries (RSI). These conditions impact muscles, nerves, and tendons that may be become damaged due to repeated use. Healthline.com offers the following information on RSI, including how it can be treated.

Risk factors

Road traffic injuries at work

Some people find themselves working in traffic on a daily basis, from road construction workers to those who drive large trucks. People in these fields may face a number of risks while performing their job duties, including the possibility of being hurt in a traffic crash. Moreover, people in other industries may be injured in a work-related traffic injury as well. For example, someone may be asked to run an errand for their employer, which could require them to operate a vehicle or even cross busy streets. The consequences of work-related traffic crashes can be staggering and injured workers need to know which options they have.

Some work-related injuries are not a complete surprise, such as those which result from repetitive strain. However, traffic crashes are completely unexpected and can turn a worker's life upside down with no warning. Workplace traffic accidents can lead to broken bones, unbearable pains and other hardships that make daily life very hard and keep someone from working. Aside from the physical consequences of an accident, which can be terrible, the financial and psychological impact of an accident can be overwhelming too. For example, someone involved in a serious traffic accident at work may never feel comfortable performing their job duties due to trauma.

Do you have popcorn lung?

Californian state workers understand that you may sometimes be exposed to conditions that can harm you. Popcorn lung is the result of some of these exposures, and it can affect workers in many different industries.

Medical News Today defines popcorn lung as a medical condition that affects the smallest airways in the lungs, known as the bronchioles. The damage is caused by excessive or repeated exposure to certain chemicals that cause irritation.

What does reduced duty mean?

An injury could change the way you are able to work — maybe permanently. California law has terms that could provide some protection for you, even if your original job were to prove impossible for you to perform. Regardless of what your level of disability might be, you could still potentially have the right to work at your current company.

Regardless of whether your injury resulted in permanent or temporary disability, your rehabilitation period could include some time when you were able to work in a reduced capacity. Unfortunately, decisions as to the timetable for your return and the exact duties you would perform could be out of your hands.

Construction electrocutions: continuing worker risk

At the Law Offices of Hussain & Gutierrez in California, we know the dangers and risks you face as a construction worker on your job sites each day. Electrocutions are one of your biggest risks since you are surrounded by numerous power tools, equipment and machinery.

As noted by Construction Connect, electrocutions rank second on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s “Fatal Four” list of construction worker deaths as follows:

  1. Falls
  2. Electrocutions
  3. Struck-by-object events
  4. Caught-in-between-object events

Where does your job rank on the scale for danger?

No matter how you earn a living, if you are employed outside the home in California or another state, you likely deal with many issues on a regular basis, such as transportation, clothing, balancing work life and personal life and more. Another primary concern of yours might be safety, especially if you happen to work in an industry well known as inherently dangerous.

There's no question that some jobs are more danger-prone than others are. There is also no question that your employer is obligated to provide you with proper training and any safety equipment available to help lower your risk for injury in the workplace. Perhaps you are in between jobs at this time and are trying to determine where to seek employment next. Considering safety factors may help you choose a path.

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