Monday, April 28, 2008

Report: Work-safety rules are weak, deaths too many

This comes under the category of "Why I Do What I Do."

From The

"On an average workday, more than 150 Americans die due to job-related injury or disease, according to a report released today by the AFL-CIO, a Washington-based umbrella group for more than 50 labor unions worldwide. Another 11,233 are injured, noted the “Death on the Job” report, based on 2006 government data.

All told, in 2006, more than four million workers were injured and 5,840 were killed. The report advances Monday’s International Workers’ Memorial Day, started by the AFL-CIO 20 years ago to honor those who died or were injured on the job.The report said U.S. work safety rules are weak and penalties assessed to employers amount to a slap on the wrist. Nationally, the average fine imposed for a fatality was just over $10,000.But an industry spokeswoman said workplace safety is of paramount concern to businesses.“People are the most important asset for manufacturers, and safety on the job is the highest priority,” said Laura Narvaiz, spokeswoman for the National Association of Manufacturers, the nation’s largest industrial trade group.Alaska and Wyoming had the highest rate of worker deaths, New Hampshire and Rhode Island the lowest.Complicating matters: a skeletal staff of federal and state Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors. Some 2,094 inspectors are responsible for the nation’s 130 million workers."

You can see the entire AFL-CIO report here.

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