FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 27, 2004
California continues to cultivate a safer workforce
State Division of Labor Statistics and Research shows fatalities declining as employment numbers grow
SAN FRANCISCO – Data released by the state Division of Labor Statistics and Research shows the number of workplace fatalities continued to decline in California in 2003 while employment numbers rose. Last year, 456 of California's 16,283,000 workers were fatally injured on the job, down from 478 of California's 16,215,000 workers killed in 2002.
"Our aggressive approach to health and safety on the job in California is paying off," said John Rea, acting director of the Department of Industrial Relations, the state agency that oversees California's fatality data collection and occupational safety and health programs. "While one life lost is one too many, 22 more workers made it home safely to their families last year, and over the past 10 years 187 lives have been saved."
While the number of national fatalities rose in 2003, the number of workplace fatalities in California has declined steadily since 1997. Last year marked the second year in which fatalities have fallen below 500.
"Unlike some other states, California runs its own occupational safety and health program," said Rea. "Cal/OSHA specifically targets the state's problem industries with intensive enforcement and consultative assistance that help employers provide safer and healthier workplaces."
Among the top causes of fatalities in 2003 were: