Workplace Deaths on the Rise

Hilary Tuttle


June 1, 2018

workplace deathAccording to the AFL-CIO’s 2018 Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect, 150 people died every day in 2016 due to job-related injuries or illnesses. In total, 5,190 U.S. workers were killed on the job—up from 4,836 in 2015—and 50,000 to 60,000 died from occupational diseases.

Particularly troubling, workplace violence rose sharply, becoming the second-leading cause of workplace death—866 workers were killed in 2016, up from 703 the year before. Violence was also responsible for more than 27,000 lost-time injuries.

While fatalities have increased, already taxed safety and health programs and protections are only decreasing under the Trump administration. For example, the union wrote, “Despite these alarming findings, OSHA continues to face a desperate dearth of resources. Responsible for regulating nine million workplaces, the agency’s 764 federal inspectors would need 158 years to visit each site just once. Yet, the administration has continued to enact an aggressive deregulatory agenda, gutting safety rules and proposing deep cuts to worker safety and health training.”

Hilary Tuttle is managing editor of Risk Management.