The report, titled “Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect,” compiles data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2016, the most recent year data is fully available. These figures fell from the previous year when 202 workers were killed and 104,700 injured in 2015.
The new data was released in advance of Workers Memorial Day, which takes place Saturday to commemorate workers who have died or suffered illness or injury on the job.
Some believe President Donald Trump’s administration is weaken protections and rights for working people. They cite actions such as the repealing, weakening or delaying of standards on toxic chemicals and safety hazards, cutbacks in enforcement and efforts to eliminate key job safety research and training programs.
“These numbers are a grim reminder that there is much work to do in making all workplaces safer,” said Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga. “Rolling back protections for working people and assailing our right to join unions to have a voice in the workplace is unacceptable,” he said. “We will take the time to mourn our fallen brothers and sisters,” Burga said. “And we will recommit ourselves to fight for the safety of every worker in Ohio.”
Nationally, 5,190 American workers died on the job in 2016, an increase from 4,836 deaths the previous year. Another estimated 50,000 to 60,000 died from occupational diseases, meaning approximately 150 workers died on the job each day from preventable, hazardous workplace conditions. Overall, the national job fatality rate increased to 3.6 per 100,000 workers from 3.4 in 2015.
Startlingly, workplace violence is now the second-leading cause of workplace death, accounting for 866 workplace deaths, including 500 homicides.
Other report highlights show that the construction, transportation and agriculture industries remain among the most dangerous. In 2016, 991 construction workers were killed — the highest total of any sector. Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting was the most dangerous industry sector per capita, with a fatality rate of 23.2 per 100,000 workers.
Workers Memorial Day ceremonies are planned across Ohio this week with events in Akron, Athens, Bellaire, Canton, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, Lima, Lorain, Mansfield and Toledo.
In this area, ceremonies are planned at 11:30 a.m. Friday at the Old County Courthouse, 308 Second St., Elyria, and at 4:30 p.m. Friday at Lorain City Hall, 200 W. Erie Ave., Lorain.