May 7, 2021

Annual Worker Fatality Report Calls For Increased Workplace Safety Inspectors

Original story from   IPBS-RJC

Article origination IPBS-RJC
A sign in a car caravan at a labor rally in 2019 reads "Workplace Safety Now!" - Justin Hicks/IPB News

A sign in a car caravan at a labor rally in 2019 reads "Workplace Safety Now!"

Justin Hicks/IPB News

In 2019, 146 workers died on the job in Indiana according to an annual report from the country’s largest federation of unions. The group continues to call for better funding of federal and state agencies to hire more safety inspectors.

The recently-released “Death on the Job” report ranked Indiana 35th for worker safety based on its rates of deaths, injuries, and illnesses on the job. There were about 30 fewer deaths than in 2018, but it’s still more than any other year in the last decade. Transportation and warehousing accounted for the largest share of deaths followed by construction. 

Brett Voorhies of the Indiana AFL-CIO said the constant focus from state Republicans on reducing perceived burdens to businesses comes at the expense of workers. He referenced safety measure that have failed in the General Assembly, like one this year to put speed cameras in road construction zones.

“It’s really unfortunate,” he said. “Every year there’s at least 100 deaths on the job and it’s just sickening that we’re not able to do anything legislatively because our hands are tied because of the supermajority.” 

Injuries and illness remained at the previous year’s rate of about three recorded cases for every 100 full-time workers. 

Contact reporter Justin at jhicks@wvpe.org or follow him on Twitter at @Hicks_JustinM.

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