Our latest report uncovered some startling news—the rate of death on the job for Black workers grew to the highest number in nearly two decades. Latino workers have the greatest risk of dying on the job, and their fatality rate has grown by 13% over the past decade. These increases in worker fatalities are not even attributable to COVID-19.
There were 343 workers who died on the job in America every single day in 2021. The agencies tasked with enforcing worker safety are underfunded, and enforcement of employer violations is lax.
In 2021, there were 1,871 inspectors—900 at the federal level and 971 at the state—for the more than 10.8 million workplaces under the Occupational Safety and Health Act’s jurisdiction. Since 1970, fewer than 130 worker deaths have been criminally prosecuted, even though more than 400,000 workers have died on the job.
On Workers Memorial Day, we remember those we’ve lost and commit to our fight for a safe workplace for every worker. Because we know that workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths are preventable.
No one should have to risk their lives for their livelihoods. There is no corporate cost-benefit analysis that should put human life and worker safety on the wrong side of the ledger.
When employers don’t keep our workplaces safe, it’s workers and our families who pay the price.
Let’s create stronger job safety laws.
Let’s hold workplace safety agencies and employers accountable.
Let’s make sure every worker makes it home at the end of the day.