Death On the Job: Not Quite as Bad as it Sounds
by Michael Fox
I was shocked this morning on one of the business news summaries I get to see a report that 150 Americans die from hazardous working conditions each day. To me that was a shocking figure.
The source for the article is apparently the 2015 edition of Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect, produced by the AFL-CIO which as it turns out is still based on 2013 data. And you only get to the 150 average by combining 4,585 individuals actually killed on the job and an 'estimated' 50,000 who died from occupational diseases.
Although occupational disease is indeed a significant problem, it is certainly not the same as a worker actually being killed on the job, which is what I had first thought the 150 figure referred to.
Still the figures are fairly startling when you look at them another way. Rather than using 365 days, which is the basis for the 150 per day figure, if you use 250 working days, which is 52 weeks, 5 days a week, minus 10 days for vacation/holidays, the average number of employees killed per day at work is just over 18 a day.
By contrast, in 2013 32,719 people died in traffic accidents, about 90 a day based on a 365 day basis.
Still that every working day, 18 Americans go to work but don't come home that evening, is a sobering number.