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Workplace accidents reducing in California, but still frequent

It is important to keep track of the statistics of workplace accidents in California. This can be beneficial to determining the cause of accidents, workplace injuries and illnesses and taking steps to prevent them. As technology and oversight improves, so too does safety. This is indicated by the Department of Industrial Relations releasing information showing that the state's number of non-fatal work injuries and illnesses has reduced to 3.7 for every 100 full-time employees in 2016.

The number has been declining incrementally for the past 15 years. In 2013 and 2014, it was 3.8 for every 100 full-time employees. In 2002, the number was six for every 100 full-time workers. According to DIR, the statistics are accrued by injuries and illnesses that employers reported and U.S. Bureau of Division and Labor Statistics' Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses. In the estimates, there were an estimated 466,600 non-fatal injuries and illnesses from the job in 2016. Of those, 78 percent were in the private sector; 22 percent were in the public sector.

The information was based on days away from work, the need for job transfer or restriction and that those who suffered from the injuries or illnesses had to miss time. Across all industries in the state, that came to 2.2 for every 100 full-time workers. This has remained static for four years. The highest rate of injuries was in the maintenance and building/grounds cleaning sector with 284.2 for every 10,000 workers. Next were those who installed, maintained and did repair work at 251.9 per 10,000 workers. Finally, construction had 242.7 for every 10,000 workers. The people who were safest at work were those in computers and math with 5.2 for every 10,000 workers.

These statistics are a step in the right direction to keeping workers from suffering an accident on the job. However, the reality that the numbers have stayed relatively level - despite the reduction - says that there are still numerous people who suffer a work accident or illness every year. Missed time at work, medical treatment and other problems that come about often require workers' compensation. That sometimes requires an investigation and assistance from an attorney. Contacting a qualified legal professional who is experienced in helping workers who have suffered workplace injuries or illnesses is essential to receiving benefits.

Source:, "Worker injury, illness rate continues to decline in California," Mark Glover, Nov. 16, 2017

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