AFL-CIO Releases “Death on the Job”: Its 2011 Worker Safety Report

Recently, the AFL-CIO released the 2011 edition of its annual report on American workers’ safety and health.

Entitled “Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect,” the report compiles statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and presents the findings in terms of lives lost, numbers of illnesses and injuries, as well as the total cost of injuries and illnesses. The 2011 report uses BLS statistics from 2009, the most recent year for which statistics are available, to compile the report.

On average, 12 workers died on the job in the U.S. every day in 2009, for a total of 4,340 worker deaths for the year – this is down from the 5,214 on-the-job deaths reported in 2008. Additionally, 50,000 more workers died as a result of occupational diseases or illnesses.

It was also noted that over 4.1 million work-related illnesses and injuries were reported. However, the AFL-CIO estimates that this number underestimates the true number of injuries and illnesses. The AFL-CIO report believes that a more accurate number is two to three times the BLS estimates, putting the actual number closer to 8 to 12 million.

Pennsylvania is roughly in the middle of the states when it comes to the number of deaths on the job. In 2009, the report stated 166 Pennsylvania workers were killed – which is 2.8 per 100,000 workers (the national average is 3.3) – making it the 20th most dangerous state to work in.

The report estimates that the total cost of work-related illness and injuries is between $159 billion and $318 billion.

Workers injured on-the-job may be eligible for workers’ compensation while they recover. The process of applying for and receiving this compensation can be complex and time-consuming. Let an experienced workers’ compensation attorney help you avoid the stumbling blocks.