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Harrowing numbers show the extent of workplace fatalities

Something troubling happened in California in 2015. In one year, 388 workers were killed at work. This means that an average of just over one person left for a work shift and didn’t come home each day of the year. This is something that is simply unacceptable.

The agricultural industry saw more than double the deaths than what was previously reported. In 2015, the death rate for these workers was an unimaginable 17.1. The death rate for them in 2014 was only 8.2.

Another industry that was hit hard was the construction industry. This industry saw a 34 percent increase. The death rate here was 6.8 in 2015 and a lower 4.5 in 2014.

One issue that was raised by these figures was that migrant workers encompass a large part of the workers in these industries. This shows that these workers need to enjoy the same safety protocol and protections as other workers.

Workers who identify as Latino make up one-third of the working population; however, this demographic made up 46 percent of the fatalities. In 2014, 130 Latinos suffered fatal workplace injuries. That number increased to 178 Latinos in 2015.

All workers deserve a fair chance at coming home to their loved ones after their shift is over. When this doesn’t happen, family members are often left struggling to try to make ends meet and pay for their loved one’s final arrangements. These family members might take action to seek compensation for their loss. This could help them to afford to pay their normal bills and cover the other expenses related to the unexpected death.

Source: EHS Today, “Dying at Work in California: 388 Workers Didn’t Come Home,” Sandy Smith, April 28, 2017

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