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The reality of workplace accidents in California

Workplace accidents, especially fatalities, are a concern for every worker and business owner in California. Preventing accidents as well as reporting them is essential so records can be kept and made available. Being aware of the risks and issues involving safety in the workplace can allow employees and business owners to be more alert and more focused on making sure that their workplaces are as safe as possible.

According to ScienceBlogs, in 2014, there was a worker killed in the state almost every day of the week for a total of 344 fatalities. In this same year, the number of injuries reported was 586,525. When it comes to the days away from work, transfer or restriction rate, the state is higher than the national average, meaning that it has more workers out more often due to serious injuries. In one key sector, construction, the state’s DART rate was 50 percent higher than the national rate, which is a huge concern.

Truthout reported that in 2014, the national number of worker fatalities for the construction industry was 874, a 5 percent increase over the previous year. So, California, in comparison, is not a big shock. However, getting to the heart of the issue at the national or state level is difficult. OSHA is tasked with monitoring workplace safety and holding employers accountable, but there has been a major construction boom in some areas that has led to an increase in foreign-born workers and a struggle for employers to comply with OSHA standards of providing training and safety gear.

If an employer is not complying with OSHA regulations, an employee’s main recourse is to report it. However, with only about 60 inspectors available per state, it is almost impossible for them to make it to every work site where violations have been reported. This is not the fault of the inspectors or even the agency. OSHA simply does not have the funding it needs. This problem, though, is something that needs to be addressed so that every day a new family is not having to face the loss of a loved one due to a workplace accident.

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Law Offices of Mauro Fiore, Jr.

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