Newsline No.: 2016-45 Date: April 21, 2016
Department of Industrial Relations Reports 2014 Fatal Occupational Injuries
Oakland—The Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) reports the number of Californians who died on the job decreased in 2014. A review of the past ten years indicates that workplace fatalities remain below the average rate of fatalities prior to 2008, when the last recession began.
“Every work-related fatality is a tragic reminder that worker deaths are preventable,” said Christine Baker, Director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). “Safe and healthy working conditions and dedication to preventing workplace injuries and illnesses can save workers’ lives.”
There were 344 fatal injuries on the job in California in 2014, compared to 396 in 2013 and 375 in 2012. Data comes from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) which is conducted annually in conjunction with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Figures for 2014 are the latest numbers available.
Key findings from the latest census in California include:
• Over one third (35%) of all California workplace deaths identified in 2014 occurred in transportation incidents.
• One in five (22%) of all California workplace deaths identified in 2014 were attributed to violent acts.
• One in five (21%) of all California workplace deaths identified in 2014 were attributed to trips, slips and falls.
• Fatal workplace injuries among Latino workers in 2014 decreased to 130 (38% of all worker deaths) from 194 (49%) in 2013, and 137 (37%) in 2012.
The high rate of workplace fatalities for Latinos continues to be an area the department is tracking closely. DIR over the past six years has increased workplace safety outreach and education to Spanish-speaking workers, with a focus on high-hazard work.
A table reflecting final data for 2014 for California is posted online. Detailed tables will be posted as soon as available from Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The preliminary data was posted last September. Changes to the final data result from the identification of new cases and the revision of existing cases based on source documents received after the release of preliminary results. Beginning in 2016, the data will only be released once annually in the month of December.
The Census is conducted annually by DIR in conjunction with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. CFOI produces comprehensive, accurate and timely counts of fatal work injuries. This Federal-State cooperative program was implemented in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in 1992.
DIR protects and improves the health, safety and economic well-being of over 18 million wage earners, and helps their employers comply with state labor laws. Its Division of Occupational Safety and Health, commonly known as Cal/OSHA, helps protect workers from health and safety hazards on the job in almost every workplace in California. Cal/OSHA does not have authority when injuries occur on public roadways.
Cal/OSHA’s Consultation Services Branch provides free and voluntary assistance to employers and employee organizations to improve their health and safety programs. Employers should call (800) 963-9424 for assistance from Cal/OSHA Consultation Services.
Employees with work-related questions or complaints may contact DIR’s Call Center in English or Spanish at 844-LABOR-DIR (844-522-6734). The California Workers’ Information line at 866-924-9757 provides recorded information in English and Spanish on a variety of work-related topics. Complaints can also be filed confidentially with Cal/OSHA district offices.
Sources: Graph 1 – Graph 1 – Current Population Survey, BLS Labor Force Data (Employment as of July of calendar year), and Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (annual final data for calendar year). Graph 2 – Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (annual final data for calendar year). For further detail on CFOI methods and calculations see Part III: Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries.
The California Department of Industrial Relations, established in 1927, protects and improves the health, safety, and economic well-being of over 18 million wage earners, and helps their employers comply with state labor laws. DIR is housed within the Labor & Workforce Development Agency. For general inquiries, contact DIR’s Communications Call Center at 1-844-LABOR-DIR (1-844-522-6734) for help in locating the appropriate division or program in our department.