New data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show the tragedy many families face due to a surge in both the number and rate of workplace deaths: In 2022, 5,486 people in the United States died because of their job. The job fatality rates for Black and Latino workers both increased compared with the previous year; immigrant workers accounted for 64% of Latino worker fatalities. AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler released the following statement in response to Tuesday’s new data:
Every workplace fatality represents a family member who will never return home after a shift. An empty chair at the dinner table that never again will be filled. A loss that ripples through entire communities. We cannot and will not accept these tragedies as inevitable. Workplace deaths are preventable, but unchecked employers blame workers and treat people as disposable.
At a time when we should be bolstering workplace safety and holding corporations accountable, the labor appropriations bill put forward by House Republicans proposes cuts to funding for both the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). These agencies are essential to keeping workers safe on the job, and any effort to defund them is a frontal assault on the safety and lives of working people.
Maintaining a safe workplace should not be partisan; a bipartisan Congress established this right under the law more than 50 years ago. Significant hazards like workplace violence and occupational heat exposure are getting worse and need immediate attention. Now is the time for more resources, standards and agency oversight to ensure our loved ones have the protections they need to come home at the end of the day.
Contact: Steve Smith, 202-637-5018