Workers involved in construction, mining, manufacturing and other high risk occupations have the right to expect that there are adequate safety measures in place to help protect the workers from accidental injury or death in California. However, recent statistics show that the number of fatal workplace accidents has been on the rise in recent years. This reversed a long term trend of a decrease in accidental deaths in the workplace.
In an April 2018 report released by the AFL-CIO the number of workplace fatalities increased from 4,836 in 2015 to 5,190 in 2016. This equates to about 14 deaths per day. Specific reasons for the increase are not known although a lax enforcement of existing safety policies is frequently given as an explanation. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cites a shortage of inspectors. OSHA suggests the number of inspectors has been declining in recent years.
Workers in California should be familiar with safety procedures in their workplace. Written policies and procedures should be readily available for review. Even when precautions are taken and safety measures are in place, tragic accidents can still result.
A worker in California should feel safe from workplace accidents. If an accident does occur, a knowledgeable attorney may be able to offer assistance. The injured worker, or in the event of a fatality, the worker's family, may benefit from a consultation with a lawyer experienced in workers' compensation law. An attorney can advise the worker, or the worker's family, on what legal options are available.