workplace safety

As an employee working in the state of California, you have certain rights in the workplace. There are rules and regulations regarding safety that California employers must follow. Safety rules and regulations are in place to protect workers, with the additional goal of avoiding work injuries and workers’ compensation claims.

The California workers’ compensation attorneys at Kneisler and Schondel can help you file your claim for workers’ compensation in the event that you have suffered a work-related injury. Our attorneys have many years of experience handling all different kinds of workers’ compensation cases at every stage of litigation. We know what it takes to help you fight for the benefits and compensation that you deserve.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

California state law requires that all employers with one or more employees obtain workers’ compensation insurance or qualify to become self-insured. Workers’ compensation insurance pays for medical treatment and other benefits that an injured worker is entitled to receive after suffering a work-related injury. Work-related injuries can involve a traumatic event while working, such as a laceration injury while using a machine and performing work duties. Repetitive-use or repeated exposure injuries may also be work-related, such as the development of carpal tunnel syndrome over time due to performing certain work tasks.

It is a requirement under California Labor Code Section 3700 that employers have current workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation coverage is not required for independent contractors; however, there have been many cases in which an employer argued that they did not have employees, only independent contractors—and these workers were actually found to meet the threshold for employees, causing the employer to lose the case.

For more information regarding the distinguishing factors between employees and independent contractors, you can take a look at California Labor Code Section 3351. You can also bring up any questions regarding this topic with your workers’ compensation attorney. It is a crime for a California employer to fail to obtain workers’ compensation coverage. If convicted, the employer may be fined up to $10,000 or may be ordered to go to the county jail for up to a year (or both).

Injury and Illness Prevention Program

It is a requirement under California law that employers in this state provide instruction and training on the topic of safe work practices. Employers must also provide an effective system for employers and employees to communicate regarding these issues. In order to get the most out of the program, it is a good idea to actively participate in all training sessions provided by your employer. You should also take the time to recognize safety hazards and be sure to point out any hazards you discover to your employer. Your employer is required to have a system in place which encourages reporting these hazards, without any fear of retaliation for doing so. California employers must also promptly take action to fix these hazards.

Other Safety Requirements That Your Employer Must Follow

It is not enough under California law that your employer has worker’s compensation insurance; rather, California employers are also required to post the relevant information regarding the insurance policy and carrier (including contact information) in a general location where all employees will have access to it. If an employer fails to post this workers’ compensation information, they may be subject to a civil penalty with a fine for each violation. Additionally, when a new employee is hired, a California employer must provide them with a workers’ compensation pamphlet or other documents that explain the rights and responsibilities of the newly hired employee.

California Workers’ Compensation Injury Claim Form – DWC1

If you have been injured at work, you must report the injury to your employer as soon as possible. After receiving notice of your injury, your employer is required to give you (or mail out to you) a claim form within one business day. You will need to promptly fill out and return the form to your employer. Your workers’ compensation lawyer will be able to help answer any questions you may have regarding this form. When the form has been returned to your employer, the process of determining which benefits, if any, you are entitled to will begin.

For any questions regarding workplace safety and workers’ compensation claims, contact the California workers’ compensation attorneys at Kneisler and Schondel. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys to get started with your case and begin fighting for the benefits that you deserve.