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Report: Washington has 3rd lowest worker fatality rate

Workers-Memorial-Day-2012-posterWASHINGTON, D.C. (May 7, 2013) — According to a new AFL-CIO report, Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect, 60 workers were killed in Washington State in 2011, giving the state the 3rd lowest worker fatality rate in the country at 1.9 workers per 100,000 workers. Nationally, 4,693 workers died on the job in 2011, a rate of 3.5 deaths per 100,000 workers, down from the previous year’s figures of 3.6. North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana and Alaska were among the states with the highest workplace fatality rates.

The AFL-CIO report features profiles of workers’ safety and health in each state and includes national information on workplace illnesses, injuries and fatalities as well as the number and frequency of workplace inspections, penalties, funding, staffing and public employee coverage under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act). The report also addresses delays in the rule-making process and emerging hazards such as pandemic flu and other infectious diseases.

“Washington may have one of the lowest number of workplace fatalities in the country now, but there is still much work to be done to ensure that no worker fears for his or her health and well-being on the job,” said Lynne Dodson, Secretary-Treasurer of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO. “A good job is not defined only by the absence of physical danger. Working people deserve respect, dignity, good wages, healthcare, and opportunities to grow and to give back to one’s community.”

Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect was released after vigils, rallies and actions were held around Washington State across the country to commemorate all those workers who died and were injured on the job for Workers Memorial Day on April 28.

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