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AFL-CIO Report Identifies Safety And Health Issues For U.S. Workers

In 1970, Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which was enacted in order to increase worker safety and to prevent workers from being killed or seriously injured at work. Under the Act, employers are required to provide employees with working conditions that are free of known dangers. Over the past 40 years, the Act has helped prevent thousands of serious work-related injuries or fatalities.

Health and Safety Issues Remain for Workers Across the United States

While the Act has been beneficial in helping protect workers, a recent report from the AFL-CIO shows weaknesses in safety and health enforcement. According to the report, Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect, 4,585 workers were killed on the job in the United States, and an estimated 50,000 died from occupational diseases in 2013. While nearly 3.8 million work-related injuries and illnesses were reported, it is believed that the actual number is significantly higher because many injuries and illnesses go unreported. The number could be as high as 11.4 million.

Even though the job fatality rate has declined slightly each year, with a rate of 3.3 deaths per 100,000 workers in 2013, more needs need to be done to improve job safety and protect the health of the workers, according to the report. The report identified several areas that need to be addressed to improve worker safety and health including:

  • Increasing funding and staffing at job safety agencies;
  • Imposing mandatory standards regulating ergonomic hazards, infectious diseases, chemical exposure and workplace violence;
  • Addressing escalating fatalities and injuries in the oil and gas extraction industry;
  • Protecting Latino and immigrant workers who face an increased risk of fatalities and injuries;
  • Developing policies and practices to encourage workers to report work-related injuries and illnesses; and
  • Strengthening the whistleblower and anti-retaliation provisions of the Act.

Texas Work Fatality Statistics

The AFL-CIO report also provides a comprehensive look at work-related injuries and illnesses within each state. In 2013, there were approximately 11 million workers in Texas. During this period, there were 508 work-related fatalities for a rate of 4.4 fatalities per 100,000 workers, which is significantly higher than the national rate of 3.3 fatalities per 100,000 workers. The greatest number of fatalities (228) occurred from transportation incidents. Other causes of fatalities included objects and equipment (76), falls (74), assault and violent acts (66), fires and explosions (32), and substances or environments (31).

Contact the Undefeated Houston, Texas Work Accident Attorneys Lawyers from Zehl & Associates Injury & Accident Lawyers for Help Today

If you or someone you know has suffered a work-related injury or illness, it is important to reach out to an experienced Texas work accident attorney who can help protect your rights. Zehl & Associates’ team of Texas work accident attorneys have experience helping injured workers throughout Texas recover compensation for their injuries.

From oil field accidents to offshore explosions to commercial truck accidents, our Texas work accident attorneys have experience prosecuting all types of work-related injury claims. Contact us today

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Zehl & Associates Injury & Accident Lawyers – Houston
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Zehl & Associates Injury & Accident Lawyers – Midland
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