Rising workplace deaths: More violence or Fewer regulations?
In 2014 there were a record 78 deaths resulting from accidents of some type while at work. These do not necessarily exclude dangerous occupations such as the police or fire department or construction jobs.
There has been a steady rise in workplace deaths since the recession hit in 2008. The deaths do not necessarily stem from an increase in violence;“regardless of industry, there isn’t enough enforcement of our health and safety laws,” said Nadia Marin-Molina, a safety and health specialist at the New York Committee for Occupational Safety. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is terribly under capacity to be able to conduct inspections at work places in New York City and across the country.” Out of 78 deaths, 12 resulted from suicides, 11 were homicides and 20 were the results of slips and falls. (There were 2 deaths that resulted from workplace violence, but no other information about the incidents were known).
However, in more dangerous jobs, there were other causes of injury. “The other fatalities involved a mix of transportation incidents (14); contact with heavy objects or machinery (8); exposure to toxic substances (7); and fires and explosions (4).”
Also it should be noted that there was an increase in construction deaths in this past year (17 last year and 22 this year), they accounted for the most work related deaths. “The city has seen 16 construction fatalities this year – 14 of which came on non-union job sites, said Gary LaBarbera, president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York.”
These have been the largest figures since 2008, when there were 90 deaths at the workplace.