Contact: Karen Hickey, 414-573-7579, [email protected]

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(MILWAUKEE, April 28, 2017) — According to a new report released by the AFL-CIO, Wisconsin had the 26th worst workplace safety record in 2015. This analysis, based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, shows that 104 Wisconsin workers lost their lives due to on-the-job injuries, resulting in 3.5 deaths per 100,000 workers. Total cases of workplace injuries and illnesses in 2015 in the private sector alone was 68,400. The report found that it would take 142 years for OSHA workers to inspect each workplace just once.

“Today’s report shows the dangers Wisconsinites face every day trying to achieve the American Dream,” said Phil Neuenfeldt, President of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO. “We deserve better. We deserve workplaces where concerns are heard, we deserve laws that allow those concerns to be addressed, and we deserve the peace of mind of knowing our jobs will be safe. Workers will keep fighting for improvements as long as one of our brothers and sisters is put at risk on the job.”

Nationally, 4,836 workers were killed on the job during 2015 due to workplace injuries. Additionally, an estimated 50,000-60,000 died from occupational diseases, resulting in a loss of nearly 150 workers each day from preventable workplace conditions.

“Corporate negligence and weak safety laws have resulted in tragedy for an astonishing and unacceptable number of working families,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “Instead of working for stronger protections, too many Republican politicians in Washington, including the Trump administration, are trying to roll back commonsense regulations that enable workers to return home safely to their families. These are more than numbers; they are our brothers and sisters and a reminder of the need to continue our fight for every worker to be safe on the job every day.”

The report, entitled Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect, marks the 26th year the AFL-CIO has produced its findings on the state of safety and health protections for workers within the United States. North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Mississippi and Arkansas were the most dangerous states for workers.

One of the most startling statistics show that Latino and immigrant workers have a higher risk of death than other workers do. The Latino fatality rate is 18% higher than the national average. Deaths among Latino workers increased to 903 compared to 804 in 2014, and 943 immigrant workers were killed on the job—the highest number since 2007.

Other report highlights show that construction, transportation and agriculture sectors remain very dangerous. In 2015, 937 construction workers were killed – the highest number in any sector. Older workers are also at high risk with workers 65 or older being 2.5 times more likely to die on the job. Workplace violence continues to be a growing problem for workers. In 2015, 703 workers died from violence on the job.

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