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Workers' compensation claims drop, but not in every industry

Many industries can rejoice at the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing that on-the-job fatalities have dropped to their lowest rate since 2003. Unfortunately, those California workers in the construction and transportation sector do not have much to cheer about. Workers' compensation insurers may be paying less for injuries overall, but these two industries make up almost half of the fatal accidents in recent years.

Analysts suggest that a big part of the problem in transportation and construction is that employers are accepting more temporary and contract workers. These gig employees often get little or no training for the difficult and dangerous work they must do. This seems to be especially true in small companies where employees may come and go in the space of a day and companies where employees may have a language barrier that prevents them from understanding basic safety instructions.

A second issue that may contribute to the prevalence of accidents and injuries in transportation and construction is the overall health of the employees. As workers age, they become less agile, and their reflexes slow down. This may make it difficult for them to react quickly to get out of harm's way. Additionally, with a shortage of skilled workers, employers may be hiring workers who do not pass drug or alcohol tests or assigning inappropriate jobs to workers who do not have the physical stamina to do the work safely.

While these factors may contribute to more workplace accidents, injuries and deaths, it is the obligation of California employers to provide workers' compensation insurance for their employees. Nevertheless, an employee who is hurt on the job may have a difficult time claiming benefits he or she deserves. Many find it a relief to obtain the assistance of an attorney who is dedicated to helping injured workers.

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