California workers deserve safer workplaces

An unfortunate fact is that workers are injured, become ill or killed every year while on the job in California. Although California has a relatively low rate of workplace fatalities, there is still much that can be done to improve workplace safety. Preventable injury is the purview of the employer, along with state and federal regulators. As for workers, those who have been injured or become ill on the job can file a claim for workers' compensation to receive financial or medical assistance.

In 2016, there were 376 workplace fatalities in California. More recent figures are not yet available. Although this is a huge number of deaths, given its large population, California had one of the lowest workplace fatality rates in the country in 2016. During that year, the national rate was 3.6 deaths for every 100,000 workers. California, on the other hand, had a workplace fatality rate of 2.2 deaths per 100,000 workers, giving it the third lowest workplace fatality rate among the fifty states; Connecticut had the lowest.

However, when other criteria are factored in, California has a lot of room for improving the safety of its workforce. According to a WalletHub survey that examined the safest states, California ranked 32nd overall and 21st looking at workplace safety alone. Although the state's workplace fatality rate was double-weighted in the scoring, other factors weighed more heavily.

California's rate of work-related illness and injury, which is 3.3 cases per 100 workers, was above the national average of 2.9 per 100. So too was the number of injuries resulting in missed days, work reassignment or job transfer, which is 2.0 cases per 100 vs. 1.6 per 100.

Workers who are injured on the job can rely on the assistance of a seasoned workers' compensation attorney when it comes to getting the financial and medical assistance they need. Workers' comp benefits are often necessary and very valuable for an injured worker attempting to recover from a serious work injury.

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