Data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that material moving and transportation workers suffered the highest number of fatalities in 2019. As noted by CNN News, a work-related injury resulted in a transportation employee’s death every 99 minutes.
One out of five drivers died while on-the-job, and transportation accidents claimed the lives of more than 2,000 employees. Overall, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 2019 saw the highest number of workplace fatalities since 2007.
According to the State of California Department of Industrial Relations, an employee’s surviving spouse and dependent children may file a claim for workers’ compensation death benefits. The surviving family of an employee involved in a fatal accident while on-the-job may have a right to death benefits even if the employee caused the accident.
The number of the deceased employee’s dependents determines the amount of workers’ comp death benefits a California family may receive. In many cases, dependent minor children may receive continued benefits up to the age of 18.
California laws require employers to maintain a safe working environment free from dangerous equipment and hazardous conditions. Employers also owe a duty of care to provide their employees with safety training and to ensure all personnel follow safe work practices. When a company breaches a safety-related duty of care, it may result in a catastrophic accident that causes an employee’s death.
When tragic and otherwise preventable workplace deaths occur, the employee’s family may receive a monetary award for damages. An award may include compensation for funeral costs, lost income and the absence of the deceased’s love, companionship and guidance.