Workplace Safety

Workplace Safety

Death, injury, and illness haunt the American workplace. Although injury and deaths rates have fallen over the last 40 years an average of 12 workers still die on the job every day. More than 50,000 workers die every year from occupational illnesses. Tragedies like the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, which killed 146 workers created public demand for workplace safety laws.  Recent disasters such as the 2010 Upper Big Branch Mine and Deepwater Horizon Oil rig continue to show the need for stronger health and safety standards and enforcement.

Commentary

Hotel housekeepers are repeatedly injured on the job.

Cutting Back on Housekeepers' Heavy Lifting

August 02, 2011

"What did we set up the government for?"

May 31, 2011
Triangle Fire Tragedy

The Fire Last Time

March 12, 2011
US Capitol building

Darrel Issa’s Government Handover

January 05, 2011

Cry Wolf Quotes

[M]uch of the scientific data obtained by researchers to date is inconclusive….misplaced reliance on mere suspicions rather than proven data, or precipitous and emotional reaction to such incomplete information…could lead to major economic consequences.

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Jerome Heckman, general counsel of the Society of the Plastics Industry.

What you are trying to put on business is overkill. It’s going to kill farmers and small business people.

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Pennsylvania state representative Jim R. Merry (R-Crawford)

A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing. We’re dealing with an enormously technical matter that the public doesn’t understand at all, that I don’t understand at all.

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Thacher Longstreth president of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and former Republican city councilman.

I urge you and others involved in the preparation of this Standard to avoid hasty decisions that may place unnecessary economic burdens on the companies that will be forced to comply, with the possible ultimate result putting them in a position where they will no longer be able to compete.

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James D. Moran of the The Flintkote Company, a major producer of construction materials and services.
03/09/1972 | Full Details | Law(s): OSHA's Asbestos Standard

Evidence

Backgrounders & Briefs

Dying To Know: A Historical Analysis of the Right-To-Know Movement

This survey provides a sweeping analysis of the right-to-know movement in America.

2011 Death on the Job

The AFL-CIO's annual report about death, illness, and injury at work.

Health and Safety at Work in Europe (1999-2007): A Statistical Portrait

An extraordinarily detailed report that gives a good idea of just how far behind the U.S. in comparison to other developed nations.

Gauging Control Technology and Regulatory Impacts in Occupational Safety and Health

Information on multiple OSHA regulations and their costs. In almost every case, the regulations were far cheaper than the agency estimated.

Resources

University of California-Berkeley Labor Center carries out research on labor and workplace-related issues.

Institute for Women’s Policy Research is a prominent think tank that is largely focused on American women's issues. This covers everything from pay equity to welfare reform to domestic violence.

The Service Employees International Union represents workers the public sector and a variety of industries in the United States.

Occupational Safety and Health Agency is responsible for government oversight of workplace health and safety. They can issue regulations and conduct investigations of specific industries and workplaces.