Some California industries carry a higher risk of fatalities involving workplace accidents than others. Understandably, those who work in the construction and transportation industries perennially face the greatest potential of being involved in a serious, even fatal, accident while on the job. The good news is that the rate of fatal work-related injuries actually dropped to a seven-year low in 2020.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2020 saw 4,764 fatalities caused by occupational accidents, which is down from the figures for 2019 at 5,333. Construction-related accidents accounted for almost half of all workplace fatalities in 2020 at 47.7%, followed by transportation-related accidents making up 16%. These figures do not account for illnesses contracted while at work.
Among the workers who lost their lives in 2020 include a 30-year-old construction worker in Inglewood, who was crushed to death by a crane. Another case involved a 53-year-old worker in another state who suffered a fall of approximately 120 feet as he was cleaning a chute. The report also mentioned the number of workers exposed to harmful substances on the job, which caused 672 fatalities in 2020.
Recourse for victims of workplace accidents
Unfortunately, anyone can suffer serious or even fatal injuries on the job in California or elsewhere, regardless of their profession. Although workers’ compensation exists to compensate victims of workplace accidents, some victims, and their surviving family members, may elect to pursue personal injury and/or wrongful claims against a grossly negligent employer in an attempt at recovering damages. This is a complex and convoluted area of law that is best handled with the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney.