Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect,
New AFL-CIO report details 2011 workplace fatality figures
Hooksett, May 7 – According to a new AFL-CIO report, Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect, the number of workers killed on the job in New Hampshire increased in 2011, despite New Hampshire having the lowest workplace fatality rate in the nation. Nine workers were killed in 2011, an increase from six in 2010. Fourteen workers died on the job in 2012, according to initial estimates from NH COSH. The impacted workers ranged from Greenland police chief Michael Maloney to Redhook Ale employee Ben Harris, a brewery worker who died in a keg explosion.
Despite the increase in deaths, New Hampshire had the lowest worker fatality rate in the country in 2011, 1.2 workers per 100,000 workers. Nationally, 4,693 workers died on the job that year, a rate of 3.5 deaths per 100,000 workers, down from the previous year’s figures of 3.6. North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana and Alaska were among the states with the highest workplace fatality rates.
The AFL-CIO report features profiles of workers’ safety and health in each state and includes national information on workplace illnesses, injuries and fatalities as well as the number and frequency of workplace inspections, penalties, funding, staffing and public employee coverage under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act). The report also addresses delays in the rule-making process and emerging hazards such as pandemic flu and other infectious diseases.
“We may have one of the lowest number of workplace fatalities in the country now, but there is still much work to be done to ensure that no worker fears for his or her health and wellbeing on the job,” said New Hampshire AFL-CIO President Mark MacKenzie. “Many workers are still unable to have a voice on the job and to advocate for better working conditions. A good job is not defined only by the absence of physical danger. Working people deserve respect, dignity, good wages, healthcare, and opportunities to grow and to give back to their community.”
Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect was released after vigils, rallies and actions were held across the country to commemorate all those workers who died and were injured on the job for Workers Memorial Day on April 28.