Workplace fatalities down in California

The California Department of Industrial Relations on Tuesday said 376 Californians died on the job in 2016, down slightly from 388 deaths in 2015 but still higher than the most recent low of 344 in 2014. 

The state’s review shows workplace fatalities in California remain below the national rate. In 2015 and 2016, the state saw a rate of 2.2 deaths per 100,000 workers. On the national level, the rate of fatalities jumped from 3.4 to 3.6 per 100,000 workers for 2015 and 2016, the Oakland-based department reported. 

The data came from the federal Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, which conducts the annual review in conjunction with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Other key findings include: 

• Violence and other injuries by persons or animals accounted for 20% of all California workplace deaths in 2016. The incidence of workplace homicides in 2016 accounted for 12% of all workplace deaths in the state.

• Nearly 38% of California workplace deaths identified in 2016 occurred in transportation incidents.

• Trips, slips and falls accounted for 17% of all California workplace deaths identified in 2016, with 90% of those deaths involving falls to a lower level.

• Latinos represented 39% California workplace deaths in 2016. This fatality rate has fluctuated over the past 10 years from 37% to 49%.

The figures are “a reminder that we must all continue our efforts to reduce workplace safety and health hazards in order to prevent worker deaths,” Christine Baker, director of the California Department of Industrial Relations, said in a statement.