Workplace accidents can cause employees to suffer from injuries and, in a number of cases, death. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, 375 people died in workplace accidents last year. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration states that it is recommended for employers to create their own safety programs. However, California is reportedly lagging behind when it comes to inspections and workplace safety.
Reports indicate that California has a shortage of Cal/OSHA inspectors, which result in missing mandatory deadlines. Some of these deadlines include following up on corrections for serious incidents and performing less enforcement. Moreover, a large number of citations have not been followed up on in the defense process. Reportedly, over 450,000 employees suffered from injuries or an occupational illness on the job.
According to the AFL-CIO report, Hispanic employees are 9 percent more at risk for deadly injuries. Reportedly, California comes in second for the amount of deadly work accidents among Hispanics. According to an administrator for Oregon OSHA, the budget within the state has decreased throughout the years.
This can be burdensome for employees who have suffered injuries in workplace accidents. It is even more so for family members who learn that their loved one was killed on the job. Usually, if safety violations are discovered by OSHA, the employers can be subject to citations and may leave them open for civil litigation. Workers who have suffered serious injuries on the job may pursue workers' compensation claims against their employers. Family members may also have the right to pursue civil litigation under California workers' compensation laws.
Source: Center for Effective Government, "Is California Keeping People Safe at Work? Labor Advocates Say No", , May 14, 2014