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BLS Reports Rise in Workplace Fatalities

New data released by the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reveals that 2016 saw a rise in the number of deaths in the American workplace. Learn more about the BLS report and the trends it revealed below, and contact the knowledgeable Los Angeles workers’ compensation attorneys at Joe, Southard & Yeoh LLP immediately at (424)325-2205, if you or someone you love has been injured in the workplace.

Rise in rate of fatal occupational injuries

The BLS’ Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries is an annual survey conducted to assess both the number of deaths at work across the US, as well as their causes. The BLS recently published its report analyzing the data gathered in 2016. The report states that 5,190 people died in on-the-job incidents in 2016, a number which surpasses 2015’s total of 4,836 by 7%. 2016 was the first year that more than 5,000 people died on the job since 2008. The year was also witness to the highest rate of fatal worker injury since 2010; 3.6 full-time workers for every 100,000 were killed on the job.

Surprising shift in leading causes of worker fatality

The leading cause of deaths on the job in 2016 was transportation incidents, as it was the year before. Transportation-related accidents caused 40% of all on-the-job deaths in 2016, accounting for 2,083 deaths. However, a new source of injury rose to the second-leading cause of death: violence and other injuries by persons or animals. On-the-job violence was the stated cause of 866 deaths in 2016, a 23% increase over 2015’s total. 500 of these deaths were homicides, which is 83 more workplace homicides than in 2015, and 291 of these deaths were suicides. This is the highest number of workplace suicides ever recorded by the census, which began reporting on workplace deaths in 1992. Another growing trend is the number of workplace deaths related to nonmedical drug use, a cause of death which grew by 32% in 2016 to 217.

California provides workers’ compensation benefits for workplace injury, illness and death

Employers have a responsibility to protect their employees from known risks of injury, and they are subject to citation for failing to provide the safe conditions and equipment necessary for workers to remain free from injury. Workers who are hurt at work often have a right to workers’ compensation benefits.  Moreover, when a work injury or illness results in an employee’s death, California allows certain surviving dependents of the deceased employee to file a claim for “death benefits,” which often includes monetary compensation and reasonable burial expenses.  Our Southern California workers’ compensation lawyers can help you consider your options after you or a loved one have been hurt at work resulting in injury or death.

Indeed, in California, the no-fault workers’ compensation system was designed to protect the injured worker.  If an employee has been injured at work, and a medical physician finds that work caused the employee’s injury, the employee generally is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, which may include medical treatment, wage replacement and other disability benefits.  An injured employee in California does not have to prove the employer did anything wrong or caused the work injury to pursue a workers’ compensation claim.

If you’ve been hurt on the job in Southern California, get a free consultation from the knowledgeable, experienced, and dedicated Los Angeles workers’ compensation lawyers at Joe, Southard & Yeoh by contacting their offices at (424)325-2205.

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