AFL-CIO issues annual report on workplace deaths

Washington – Progress on safety and health rules has stalled amid anti-regulation attacks from business groups and Republicans in Congress, according to the annual Death on the Job report from AFL-CIO.

The report, released May 2, cites Bureau of Labor Statistics data showing 4,690 workers died on the job in 2010 and estimates that occupational diseases killed an additional 50,000 workers.

Nationally, the fatality rate was 3.6 per 100,000 workers. Among states, West Virginia had the highest fatality rate at 13.1; New Hampshire had the lowest with 0.9, the report stated.

Federal and state OSHA plans have a total of 2,178 inspectors to cover 8 million workplaces, which AFL-CIO said means they can inspect workplaces once every 131 years at the federal level and once every 63 years at the state level.

The report urged passage of the Protecting America’s Workers Act to strengthen OSHA penalties and giving the Mine Safety and Health Administration more authority to shut down dangerous mines.

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