The AFL-CIO recently issued its annual report on the state of health and safety protections for America’s 553,000 workers. Workplace injuries and violence continue to be a growing problem and the future of safety and health protections for working people and their unions is uncertain.
Worker safety protections
The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) was introduced in 1970, with the promise of providing American workers the right to a safe job. During the Obama administration’s strong commitment to worker safety and health, enforcement was strengthened, important health and safety standards were introduced, and anti-retaliation protections and other worker’s rights were improved. Many of those gains are now threatened with the Trump administration. President Trump campaigned on a deregulatory agenda and has already repealed and delayed rules regarding worker safety. He has proposed deep budget cuts in addition to eliminating important programs, including those pertaining to worker safety and health training.
Job-related injuries and deaths on the rise
In its report, the AFL-CIO issued the following statistics for 2015:
- In the United States, 4,836 workers were killed on the job
- Every day, 150 American workers died due to hazardous working conditions
- Almost 3.7 million work-related illnesses and injuries were reported
- Occupational diseases caused the death of an estimated 50,000 to 60,000 workers
Furthermore, the AFL-CIO indicated that underreporting of workplace injuries is widespread, and the actual figure is approximately 7.4 million to 11.1 million injuries every year.
Construction, transportation, and agriculture industries remain dangerous
The AFL-CIO report indicated that the private construction, transportation, and agriculture industries remain dangerous, with the highest number of worker fatalities. Specifically, the report stated that, in 2015:
- 937 construction workers were killed
- 756 transportation and warehousing workers were killed
- 570 workers in the agriculture, fishing and forestry sectors were killed
The greatest number of worker fatalities was in the construction industry, with the rate of deaths increasing for the second year in a row. The transportation and warehousing sector had the second highest fatality rate of any major industry sector. And the most dangerous industry sector was agriculture, fishing, and forestry: the fatality rate in this sector was 22.8 per 100,000 workers.
Injured on the job? We can help
If you have suffered a workplace injury or have lost a loved one due to unsafe working conditions, we can help. Lomurro Law has been serving New Jersey families for more than 130 years combined, aggressively fighting on behalf of those workers who suffered injury, illness, or death on the job. Contact our office today at 732-482-9285 or online to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your situation. Our offices are conveniently located in Freehold and East Brunswick; we are also available to meet with you at your home or hospital. Don’t delay; get the compensation you deserve for your workplace injuries.