The number of Californians who died on the job rose slightly in 2013, according to a Department of Industrial Relations report.
The uptick apparently corresponds to California’s higher employment rates and its broad-based economic recovery. A review of the past 10 years indicates that workplace fatalities remain below the average rate of fatalities prior to 2008, when the last recession began, according to DIR.
There were 396 fatal injuries on the job in California in 2013, compared with 375 in 2012. Data comes from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, which is conducted annually in conjunction with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Figures for 2013 are the latest numbers available.
A comparison of the 2013 final statistics with the previous year’s final data indicates the following differences:
- There were increases in fatalities across most industrial sectors between 2012 and 2013. The largest increases were in administrative and waste services, which includes landscaping (57 percent), manufacturing (25 percent) and transportation and warehousing (8 percent). There were smaller increases in government (7 percent), construction (5 percent), retail trade (13 percent), and agriculture and forestry (3 percent).
- In comparing the cause of the fatality between the past two years, there was a 70 percent increase in fatalities from harmful substances, while falls increased 7 percent. The number of fatalities from violence or assaults stayed constant at 80 deaths each year.
Final data for 2013 indicates a significant increase in Hispanic or Latino worker fatalities (42 percent). Fatalities among Hispanic workers rose from 37 percent to 49 percent of the statewide total between 2012 and 2013.
DIR cited the year-to-year increase in the rate of workplace fatalities for Latinos (from 2.3 per 100,000 workers in 2012 to 3.2 per 100,000 workers in 2013) as an area of particular concern to the department.
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