The preliminary results showing the rate of fatal work injuries in 2014 were released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. It states that there were 3.3 fatal occupational injuries per 100,000 full-time workers, which matches the rate from 2013. In addition, there was a 2 percent increase in the total number of fatalities, from 4,585 in 2013 to 4,679 in 2014. This rise is offset by the increase in hours worked in 2014. In response, the US Secretary of Labor, Thomas E. Perez, said the following:
“Far too many people are still killed on the job – 13 workers every day taken from their families tragically and unnecessarily. These numbers underscore the urgent need for employers to provide a safe workplace for their employees as the law requires.
“Preliminary results tell us 789 Hispanic workers died on the job in 2014, compared with 817 in 2013. While we were gratified by that drop, the number is still unacceptably high, and it is clear that there is still much more hard work to do.
“BLS data shows fatalities rising in the construction sector (along with an overall increase in construction employment). Dangerous workplaces also are taking the lives of a growing number of people in oil and gas extraction. That is why OSHA continues extensive outreach and strong enforcement campaigns in these industries. The U.S. Department of Labor will continue to work with employers, workers, community organizations, unions, and others to make sure that all workers can return home safely at the end of every day.”
As you can see from this statement, there will be a continued focus in the target areas of oil and gas and the construction industry. In addition, there will continue to be partnerships designed to reach out to minorities and their employers to ensure a safe work environment. So if you work in a target area or employ certain employees, it is imperative you understand the OSHA regulations which regulate your field. Otherwise, you could be facing an audit from OSHA.
If you have any questions about occupational safety and health or about your company’s occupational safety and health policies and procedures, please contact us. If you have anything to add about this statement from Secretary Perez, please leave a comment.