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.
A family may receive compensation after a fatal work accident
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.
An employer’s breach of duty may result in a workplace death
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.