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

Finally, you should be appraised of the need for security and secrecy to research and develop products. In many, many instances, such security would be unattainable under Bill 270. The lack of privacy and security would strike the hardest at our great and large corporations which research and develop most of the new products which enhance our health and quality of living.

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

[The proposed OSHA right-to-know regulation will be] an enormously expensive and unnecessarily burdensome regulation.

-
From a letter to the Reagan Administration from Robert A. Roland, president of the Chemical Manufacturers Association.

Trying to put a handle on the potential number of lost jobs is extremely difficult....Perhaps 15 to 30 thousand is about as close as we can come at this time.

-
Matthew M. Swetonic, Executive Secretary of the Asbestos Information Association
03/15/1972 | Full Details | Law(s): OSHA's Asbestos Standard

The human factor is the most important cause of accidents and injuries. It has been estimated that 75 to 85 percent of all such occurrences have been caused by a negligent or unsafe act on the part of an individual...This cannot be [fixed] through legislation.

-
National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) representative Raymond M. Lyons. Testimony, House Select Subcommittee on Labor.

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.