The head of the state AFL-CIO is calling for greater efforts to improve worker safety after a national report found 105 workplace deaths in Wisconsin in 2021. 

According to the national AFL-CIO’s latest report, 21 of the Wisconsin workers that died on the job in 2021 were killed in assaults or other violent acts, 36 died in transportation incidents, four died in fires or explosions, 13 died in falls, 13 were killed by exposure to harmful substances or environments, and 18 died due to contact with objects or equipment. 

“Every worker in Wisconsin has a right to be safe on the job, and this report shows we still have a lot of work to do to address this moral imperative,” Wisconsin AFL-CIO President Stephanie Bloomingdale said in a release. “We need to strengthen our collective bargaining rights to help ensure that safety concerns are addressed in the workplace so all fatalities and injuries that can be prevented are indeed prevented.” 

Some progress on that front has been made in recent years, the report shows, with state-level workplace deaths declining slightly from 114 in 2018 to 113 in 2019 and 108 in 2020. 

Over the past 20 years, the number of annual workplace fatalities in Wisconsin has ranged from a low of 77 in 2009 to a high of 125 in 2006, the union federation’s report shows. 

It also shows Wisconsin has 38 federal OSHA inspectors, which is about one for every 74,000 workers in the state. To meet a standard established by the International Labor Organization of one inspector for every 10,000 workers in industrial market economies, that number would have to rise to 280, according to the report. 

See the state chapter’s release: 

See the full report:
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