Building Trades

Deaths On-the-Job Continue to Rise

May 4, 2016
By Neal Tepel 

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

Washington , DC – In 2014 a worker died on the job almost every other hour, 365 days a year. Deaths on the job in 2014 rose, to 4,821 – 13 per day — from 4,585 the year before. In addition 50,000 former workers died in 2014 from job-related illnesses, such as silicosis and black lung disease. While the 'official death count' tells one story the under-reported numbers from non-union jobs continues to be staggering.

"Working people should not have to risk their lives to make a living and support their families," said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. "Yet every day, millions are forced to work with little to no safety protections while big businesses and corporations profit off our lives." 

The most-fatal states to work in were Wyoming (13.1 deaths per 100,000 workers), North Dakota (9.8), Alaska (7.8), South Dakota (7.2) and Mississippi (7.1). The least-fatal states were Massachusetts (1.7), California (2.0) and New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island (2.1). Right to work states continue to be the most dangerous places to work in the construction industry. States having less safety regulations and more on-the-job injuries also have weaker unions.

The passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 has added improvements in safety regulations. However, too many workers continue to remain at serious risk of injury, illness or death in the USA.

May 3, 2016

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