According to a release from the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), California reported that worker fatalities were down in 2016. There were 376 worker fatalities reported in 2016 versus 388 in 2015. While 0 reported worker fatalities would be better news, it is still encouraging that this number is down.
California’s reported workplace fatalities are still below average, at 2.2 reported deaths per 100,000 workers. The national figure last year was 3.6 deaths per 100,000 workers.
Roadway incidents were the biggest factor in workplace fatalities, accounting for 22 percent. Falls accounted for 17 percent in 2016, with 90 percent of those incidents involving falls to a lower level. Following those kinds of workplace accidents, “other” transportation and contact with object or equipment accounted for 16 percent each. Overall, one-fifth (20 percent) of workplace fatalities can be attributed to violence, with 12 percent due to homicides and other violence accounting for the remaining 8 percent.
The state is still focusing resources and outreach programs targeted to Spanish-speaking workers. Latinos accounted for 39 percent of workplace deaths. This is down from last year, but the percentage of Latino workers who are fatally injured at work has stayed between 37 and 49 percent over the past ten years.
Read the release here.