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Torrance California Workers' Compensation Law Blog

New proposed laws may change workers' compensation

If a person is injured in the workplace, one of the few comforts is the knowledge that support is there when workers need it. Construction workers, emergency responders and others in high-risk careers often say it is not a matter but if, but when, in the case of getting hurt on the job.

Workers' compensation is considered a pillar of labor law, but the details change more often in California than one might think. Employers, insurers and state regulators all make up part of the complicated web of factors that affect the cost and applicability of benefits.

You can get compensation for your injuries and still keep working

If you work in a warehouse in Torrance, then it's quite possible that your company uses propane as the energy source to power the forklifts there. If your California employer uses this gas and stores the canisters on the premises, then you and your co-workers should be trained on how to properly handle them. This is the only way to ensure that one of you won't get seriously hurt on the job.

Propane is extremely hazardous. If the pressure inside the container builds up too much, then it can cause a fiery explosion.

Why hiring a Social Security Disability attorney is smart

If you're applying for Social Security Disability benefits, do you really need an attorney's assistance?

While there's no requirement to have an attorney when you file your claim, it could be the best investment you can make. Here's why:

California contractors may soon receive workers' compensation

California lawmakers passed Assembly Bill (AB) 5 on May 29. If it ultimately makes it past the Senate and gets signed off on by the governor, then the way that workers are classified in the state may change. This may have a significant impact on who is eligible to receive workers' compensation benefits.

A report published by the Federal Reserve earlier this year shows that many who work in the gig economy struggled to support themselves financially in 2018 compared to bona fide employees at companies.

The Chemical Safety Board says hydrofluoric acid hurts workers

In February of 2015, a catastrophic explosion rocked the Torrance Exxon Mobil Corporation refinery. The Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has since investigated several similar explosions across the United States. One of the most recent ones occurred just over a year ago in Wisconsin. On April 23, the CSB requested that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) study hydrofluoric acid more closely.

Hydrofluoric acid, which is sometimes also referred to as hydrogen fluoride, can exist in two forms. It can either be a fuming liquid or a colorless gas. It can be easily dissolved in water.

Why are so many Social Security Disability claims wrongly denied?

It's no secret that a large number of Social Security Disability (SSD) applicants have to go through at least one appeal or even a hearing in front of an administrative law judge to get their claims for benefits approved.

The question is, "Why?" If so many more people are gaining approvals on appeal, that means that there are a lot of unjust denials taking place. Somebody, somewhere, is making an awful lot of bad decisions on claims.

Tips for reducing fall hazards in the workplace

Workplace falls lead to numerous injuries every year, all over California. They're consistently one of the major reasons that workers get hurt, and they often lead to very serious physical issues and complications.

What can employers do to reduce the odds of a fall? Here are a few helpful tips:

  • Understand the risks of working at heights. That's how many deadly falls happen, and workers must have the proper equipment and safety gear.
  • Put up all guardrails, handrails and the like. Never leave an exposed edge.
  • Install proper lighting. This is especially true on the stairs, but it's really true everywhere. Workers have to be able to see well.
  • Carry out regular safety inspections. Not only can you find hazards before they cause falls, but this also shows workers that safety is important. It makes it part of the company culture.
  • Clean up everything on the floor. This includes debris, water, oil, power cords, strapping and much more. Anything that sits on the floor in a walking area is a potential trip hazard.

Denied Social Security disability? You have the right to appeal

Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) is a government program providing financial aid to people who have a medical condition expected put them out of work for at least a year or result in their death. The program helps people who have fallen on hard times, but sometimes the system doesn’t work as it should.

For instance, many people have their claim denied, initially. However, if you or a loved one has had your SSDI application denied, you may appeal the initial decision. There are four levels of SSDI appeals:

Common workplace injuries can also be the most expensive

People get injured doing their jobs every day. And while some injuries come with a gruesome story (such as getting an arm trapped in a machine), the truth is that most workplace injuries are rather mundane. But that doesn’t mean they are any less deserving of attention.

Indeed, some of the most common injuries are the most expensive in terms of lost work time and medical expenses to employers. A statistical analysis published by Liberty Mutual shows that according to the most recent data, the costliest cause of serious but non-fatal workplace injuries continues to be “overexertion involving outside sources.” In today’s post, we’ll discuss what this means in more detail.

How do pre-existing conditions affect workers' comp claims?

California's workers' compensation program helps workers who suffer a work-related injury get the financial assistance they need to deal with medical expenses and lost wages. For an injury to be covered by the program, it must either prevent a person from doing their job or interfere with their ability to do it.

The employee must have suffered the injury while on the job or performing duties required for their job. This might include suffering an injury while lifting large boxes containing supplies for a conference you're leading or even an injury suffered at a mandatory company social event like a softball game or picnic.

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