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Fatal construction accidents increase in 2014

Employers in California and across the county, as well as organizations such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, continue to work to help protect the safety of workers. While the total number of work-related fatalities has decreased over the course of the last two decades, 2014 showed an increase in the number of people killed in comparison with the years before. Of the fatalities in 2014, construction accidents were the leading cause.

Preliminary statistics provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that over 4,600 people were killed in job-related incidents in 2014 -- a two percent increase from the previous year. Deaths were highest in the construction industry, representing 20 percent of all deaths. Last year, 874 construction workers were killed at work -- 10 percent higher than 2013.

The majority of construction-related deaths were connected to falls, followed by transportation incidents, exposure to dangerous environments or substances and contact with equipment and objects.  The highest rate of fatalities were among roofers. Based on these numbers, the death rate among construction workers is 9.5 per 100,000.

Unfortunately, statistics do little to accurately portray the impact of fatal construction accidents. Families in California are left both grieving the loss of their loved ones as well as stressing over their financial situations. Funeral expenses and the loss of wages can create a significant strain. Although employers are required by state law to provide workers' compensation insurance benefits -- which typically extend to dependent family members in the event of a fatality -- many people are unfamiliar with the process. Fortunately, there are experienced professionals who are willing to help these families seek fair compensation.

Source: equipmentworld.com, "Construction deaths up 10% in preliminary 2014 report; total leads all industries", Wayne Grayson, Nov. 2, 2015

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