The Bureau of Labor Statistics is responsible for investigating and reporting the number of American workers who are killed on the job each year, and this week, the Secretary of Labor released their preliminary findings. It’s not good.
Imagine: you leave for work one morning, just like any other day, but that will be your last morning to see your wife, to tell your kids goodbye. No one gets advanced warning that they will die in a work injury beforehand.
Imagine: you give your spouse a quick peck on the cheek as you run out the door, never thinking that this will be the last time you will see them – because that day, they will be fatally injured while doing their job.
American Workers Are Still Being Fatally Injured On the Job and The Statistics Haven’t Decreased: 12 American Workers Die Each Day On The Job
The National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries reports that there has not been any real change in making American workers safer — in 2010, the number of workplace fatalities was 4547, compared 4551 with 2009. Among its findings:
- The number of fatal injuries among wage and salary workers increased by 2 percent in 2010.
- Fatal work injuries in the private mining industry increased 74% percent.
- Work-related fatalities resulting from fires more than doubled from 2009 to 2010, with the most Americans dying from fire last year than any year since 2003.
- The number of fatal workplace injuries among police officers increased by 40%.
It is a Modern Tragedy to have any American Worker Die While On the Job, Doing His or Her Work
“No worker should have to sacrifice his or her life to earn a living. An average 12 workers die on the job every day, and that reality continues to drive the work of the Labor Department. When the Occupational Safety and Health Act was passed in 1970, the National Safety Council estimated that 14,000 workers died each year on the job. Now, with a workforce that has doubled in size, the annual number of fatalities has dropped significantly. But it’s not enough. We cannot relent from our enforcement of laws that keep our nation’s workers safe. One worker killed or injured on the job is one too many.
As our economy continues to strengthen and the workforce expands, we at the Department of Labor will remain resolute in our mission to ensure that safety is not sacrificed as America’s workers provide for themselves and their families. My constant focus is ‘good jobs for everyone,’ and safety is an essential part of that equation.”
Kenneth J. Allen & Associates Agrees With Secretary Solis: 12 American Workers Dying Each Day is Unacceptable
Having twelve Americans die EVERY DAY while working on their jobs is a shockingly high number for modern America today. Representing families and loved ones who are dealing with this sort of tragedy gives a perspective to these numbers that only serves to excerbate how heartwrenching and unacceptable these statistics are … especially in our local community, where we have countless families who send loved ones off to mines and mills and other dangerous environments daily.
It is only through legislation, regulation, and judicial decision that employers will place people over profits.
Please be careful out there.