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150 deaths per workday due to job injuries, illness, study says [View All]

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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-24-08 06:29 PM
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150 deaths per workday due to job injuries, illness, study says
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Cox News Service

ATLANTA -- On an average workday, more than 150 Americans die because of job-related injury or disease, according to a report released Wednesday by the AFL-CIO, a Washington-based umbrella group for more than 50 labor unions worldwide. And 11,233 are injured, said the "Death on the Job" report, based on 2006 government data.

All told, more than 4 million workers were injured and 5,840 were killed in 2006. 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.

Alaska and Wyoming had the highest rate of worker deaths. New Hampshire and Rhode Island had the lowest.

Complicating matters, according to the report: a skeletal staff of federal and state Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors. Some 2,094 inspectors are responsible for 130 million workers.

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