Workers' compensation: Fire extinguisher training crucial

At this time of the year, the threats of fires in California are significant, and all possible precautions must be put in place. All workers must receive annual training in the correct use of portable fire extinguishers. However, employers might lose sight of this, especially those who focus on profits instead of safety. This might also reflect in the number of burn injury-related workers' compensation claims are filed each year.

Fire needs a combination of factors to exist. These include a combustible material or fuel and enough heat to allow ignition. Oxygen is essential to sustain combustion. These circumstances are present in many workplaces, and fires can erupt in seconds. In such situations, all workers must know the locations of portable fire extinguishers.

However, knowing where to find them will serve no purpose if workers are not trained in the correct use of extinguishers. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health makes it the responsibility of employers to teach employees the dangers posed by fires in the workplace, along with the practices and principles of using portable fire extinguishers. The agency advises employers to establish an emergency response team of designated workers who are then trained to react in fire emergencies.

Burn injuries can be severe, and in many cases, the victims need skin grafts and other surgical procedures -- all of which bring mounting medical bills and lost income. Fortunately, the California workers' compensation insurance program has the backs of injured workers, regardless of who was at fault. An experienced workers' compensation attorney can provide the necessary support and guidance along every step of the benefits claims process.

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