Michigan Holds 22nd Highest Rate of Workplace Deaths in the Nation

Not too many people head off to work on a Monday morning (or any other morning, for that matter) worried about whether they are going to die on the job, but reality is tragedy happens, and Sunday was a day to remember that. Workers Memorial Day, commemorated to those who died on the job was a time for reflection, and a scan of the numbers.

According to a new report released by the AFL-CIO, Michigan had the 22nd highest rate of workplace deaths in 2017, the most recent year for which the numbers are complete. That analysis, based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, shows that 153 Michigan workers lost their lives due to on-the-job injuries, resulting in 3.4 deaths per hundred thousand workers.

Nationally, workplace violence is now the second-leading cause of workplace death, accounting for 807 workplace deaths, including 458 homicides. For the 3rd year in a row, workplace violence injuries increased, with nearly 29,000 workers suffering serious violence-related injuries due to assault on the job. Yet, even as violence increases in the workplace, the Trump administration has sidelined developing and issuing an OSHA workplace violence standard.

Ron Bieber, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO, says, “This report is a solemn reminder of the dangers facing working people," and adds, “Michigan’s working families deserve better. We have a right to a safe workplace. We deserve leaders in Lansing and Washington who will stand up and protect the freedoms of working people. It’s time for change. It’s time for the safety, economic rights and dignity of the working men and women of Michigan to be made a priority.”

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Nationally, 5,147 American workers died on the job in 2017, a small decrease from  deaths the previous year. Another estimated 95,000 died from occupational diseases, meaning approximately 275 workers died each day from preventable, hazardous workplace conditions. Overall, the national job fatality rate was 3.5 per 100,000, workers down slightly from 3.6 in 2016.

The report, titled “Death on the Job. The Toll of Neglect” marks the 28th year the AFL-CIO has produced its findings on the state of safety and health protections for workers within the United States. The report shows the highest workplace fatality rates are in Alaska (10.2 per 100,000 workers), North Dakota (10.1), Wyoming (7.7), West Virginia (7.4) and South Dakota (7.3).

Other report highlights show that Latino workers continue to be at increased risk of job death, and that the number of Latino worker deaths increased in 2017 to 903 from 879. Deaths among older workers also increased; workers 65 or older have nearly three times the risk of dying on the job as workers overall. Construction, transportation and agriculture industries remain among the most dangerous. In 2017, 917  construction workers were killed—the highest total of any sector. Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting was the most dangerous industry sector, with a fatality rate of 23.0 per 100,000 workers.

You can read the full 230 page report by clicking the link below:

DeathOnTheJobReport2019