Remembering the Importance of Worker Safety
Connecticut residents may be appalled to learn that an average of about 150 American workers died each day in 2015. This was according to a report issued by the AFL-CIO. Of the 4,836 who died that year of workplace injuries, 903 were Latino workers, and a total of 943 immigrants die. The rate of Latino deaths was 18 percent higher than the national average while the number of immigrant deaths was the highest in almost 10 years.
In addition to the fatalities due to workplace injuries, there were another 50,000 to 60,000 people who died of occupational illnesses. In the report, the AFL-CIO blamed corporate negligence as well as weak safety laws for the number of injuries and deaths that workers experienced. Overall, the cost of job injuries and illnesses was estimated to be as high as $360 billion.
In addition to Latino workers, older workers have a higher rate of death compared to younger workers. Those who were 65 or older were 2.5 times more likely to die at work. Workplace violence is also on the rise according to the report as it cost the lives of 703 workers in 2015. Since the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act in 1970, more than 553,000 lives have been saved according to the labor union's report.
Work accident victims may wish to talk to an attorney about their rights to obtain compensation. In most cases, people who are injured on the job are eligible to file for workers' compensation benefits. However, if a claim is denied, a worker may want to have an attorney's assistance when appealing the decision.