Despite significant advancements in workplace health and safety over the past four decades, 150 people will be killed on the job or die from job-related illnesses and diseases today, reports the 2014 edition of the AFL-CIO’s annual Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect, released this morning.
Company owners and executives who violate federal workplace safety standards that result in serious worker injuries or death seldom face criminal charges and are even more infrequently convicted. But last week, the owner of a New Hampshire gunpowder plant, where two workers were killed in a 2010 explosion, was sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison on manslaughter charges.
U.S. construction workers die on the job four times more often than construction workers in the United Kingdom; overall, U.S. workers are killed on the job at three times the rate of UK workers, according to a new study. Stronger workplace safety rules account for a big part of the difference.
Today, 150 people will likely be killed on the job or die from job-related illnesses and disease. That deadly toll will continue tomorrow and the next day and the next until the nation “renews the commitment to protect workers from injury, disease and death,” and makes it a high priority, says the 2013 edition of the AFL-CIO’s Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect.
Each day in 2010, 13 workers on average were killed on the job—some 4,690 workers—and an estimated 50,000 died from occupational diseases, according to the AFL-CIO's annual report, “Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect.” Released today, the report shows the number of those who died in 2010 (the most recent year for which data are available) is up from the 4,551 people who perished in 2009. This trend has continued since 2004, the first year in a decade that saw the number of deaths on the job increase.
In hundreds of Workers Memorial Day ceremonies across the country, working families are honoring workers who have died or been hurt on the job and carrying on the fight for safe workplaces. (Click here to find an event near you.) David Michaels, director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), says:
A new report shows how wage theft reaches deep into the low-wage economy.
“The Movement to End Wage Theft” illustrates the problem with the stories of workers employed by a grocery chain, a temp agency, a construction company and other incorporated businesses. These workers’ wages were stolen by their employers who failed to pay the minimum wage or overtime, or refused to abide by work-break and safety rules.
On Workers Memorial Day, the global union movement is warning that more lives will be lost at work if business groups and companies around the world succeed in reducing legal protections against hazardous jobs. In the United States, Big Business and congressional Republicans have launched campaigns to turn back health and safety regulations, claiming they hinder competitiveness.
Forty years after the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act), “there is much more work to be done….The job safety laws must be strengthened,” finds the 2011 AFL-CIO annual job safety report “Death on the Job,” released this morning to commemorate Workers Memorial Day. (Click here for the full report.)