No New Yorker expects to suffer injuries on the job, let alone be killed, but it sometimes happens. The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) has issued a report showing how neglect contributes to worker deaths.
Workplace deaths remain high
According to the report, workplace deaths decreased by around 600 from one year to the next and dropped at a rate of 3.4 per every 100,000 employees. However, the organization noted that some deaths remained unreported. A variety of factors also caused fatalities such as illness, workplace violence and risks associated with certain professions.
Breaking down the causes of death, over 700 stemmed from workplace violence. Slip and fall accidents and those stemming from equipment or objects accounted for more than 800 and over 700 fatalities, respectively. The AFL-CIO report also stated that workers of color, specifically those of Black and Latino descent, suffered a higher risk of death on the job. Their rates were shown to be 3.5 per 100,000 workers and 4.5 out of 100,000 workers, respectively.
Older employees, especially those 65 and older have an even higher rate of on-the-job death at 8.6 per 100,000 workers. Individuals 55 and older accounted for one-third of employee deaths.
Industries such as fishing, hunting, forestry and agriculture carry the highest risk of fatalities at 21.5 per 100,000 workers. The next highest death rates affect those in professions such as warehousing, mining, transportation, oil and gas extraction and quarrying at 10.5 out of 100,000 employees.
What the report shows
The AFL-CIO stated that the report shows that employers must uphold their responsibility to keep workers safe and that any that fail to do so should be held accountable. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh concurred and pointed out that many workplace deaths can be prevented with the right health and safety standards implemented by employers.
Workers in all industries deserve to be safe in their jobs. Employers have the obligation to ensure that this is reality.