AFL-CIO report calls for stronger OSHA

Workplace accidents are far more common than they should be in Boston and surrounding areas. Workplace accidents often leave workers with permanent injuries, or worse yet, dead. Because construction is one of the most dangerous industires, many workplace accidents in Boston occur at construction sites. In these cases, negligent employers, property owners or other third parties may be held accountable in personal injury claims.

While the overall number of fatal workplace accidents has greatly dropped since the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, a new report from the AFL-CIO suggests that workplace safety is still not be taken as seriously as it should be. The report points out that while occupational fatality rates have steadily decreased over the past several decades, the past three years have stayed consistent.

Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), the report showed that approximately 150 were killed as a result of workplace injuries or illnesses in the United States per day during the year 2011. About 13 lives were lost each day due to workplace injuries, and about 137 people were killed as a result of work-related illness and disease.

The report indicated that the fishing and logging industries had the highest fatality rates per capita, while the fire safety and nursing led public sector jobs in non-fatal injuries and illnesses. It also revealed that Latino workers are killed on the job at a disproportionately high rate.

In its report, the AFL-CIO called for the passage of the Protecting America’s Workers Act, which would provide OSHA with more personnel. In its current capacity, it would take OSHA as many as 67 years to inspect every workplace in American because the agency is so short-staffed.

Source: msnbc.com, “US work-related deaths top 150 a day, finds AFL-CIO report,” Ned Resnikoff, May 8, 2013