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Help is available for California workplace accident victims

A recent study by the University of California, Riverside, revealed some very concerning statistics regarding the frequency of on-the-job injuries. In 2009, 4.5 percent of the approximately 2 million warehouse workers throughout the nation suffered a job injury, and 0.26 percent of these workers suffered from an illness related to their occupation.

Warehouse jobs are especially dangerous, even more so than construction, mining or logging. For a comparison, the study found that only 3.1 percent of construction workers were injured on the job in 2009. Also, four times as many workplace illnesses were reported for warehouse workers than construction workers. This problem has been observed in southern California; a study done by a union-backed group found that more than half of all warehouse workers were either injured, became ill or had observed someone else fall ill or get injured on the job in 2011.

There is a wide variety of injuries and illnesses that can be contracted while performing warehouse work or other types of physical labor. A worker may be injured by construction accidents or by repetitive motions, or may be made ill by exposure to toxic substances such as asbestos or benzene. They can also contract mesothelioma or other diseases from long-term exposure to hazardous working conditions.

For all of those injured on the job or made sick by the working conditions in California, there are remedies available. Depending on the injury or illness suffered, an affected worker may be entitled to receive permanent or temporary disability benefits, medical treatment benefits, or death benefits. Also, worker's compensation is a no-fault system of compensation, so there is no need for a finding of negligence in order to receive damages. Employees can receive these benefits regardless of their own personal negligence or fault, and the no-fault aspect shields employers from a finding of negligence.

Source: The Press-Enterprise, "WORKPLACE: UCR paper criticizes local warehouse personnel practices," Jack Katzanek, July 18, 2012

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