2015 Fatal Occupational Injuries


2015-fatal-injuries-graphOakland, CA —The Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) reports that 388 Californians died on the job in 2015. California experienced 13 multi-fatality incidents in 2015, accounting for a total of 48 workplace deaths.

Data comes from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) which is conducted annually in conjunction with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which reports that 4,836 workers died from a work-related injury in the U.S. in 2015, the highest annual figure since 2008. Nearly 20 percent of fatally-injured workers were employed in the private construction industry.

These events include the tragic shootings of public employees attending a holiday event in San Bernardino, four separate farm vehicle collisions, four different helicopter or small airplane crashes (including two separate military helicopter incidents), and 3 multi-victim workplace homicides.  This contrasts with six separate multi-fatality incidents that occurred in 2014 resulting in 17 fatalities.

A review of the past ten years indicates that workplace fatalities remain below the average rate of fatalities prior to 2008, when the last recession began.

There were 388 fatal injuries on the job in California in 2015, compared to 344 in 2014, 396 in 2013 and 375 in 2012.

Key findings from the latest census in California include:

  • One in five (20%) of all California workplace deaths identified in 2015 were attributed to violence and other injuries by persons or animals. The incidence of workplace homicides in 2015 accounts for 12% of all workplace deaths in the state;
  • Over one third (38%) of all California workplace deaths identified in 2015 occurred in transportation incidents;
  • One in five (19%) of all California workplace deaths identified in 2015 were attributed to trips, slips and falls; with more than two thirds of those deaths involving falls to a lower level; and
  • Nearly half of the victims of workplace fatalities (46%) in 2015 were Latinos. This fatality rate has fluctuated over the past ten years between 37% and 49%.