The 2023 edition of Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect marks the 32nd year the US national union center AFL-CIO has produced a report on the state of safety and health protections for America’s workers. The publication is a key resource for US union representatives on 28 April, International Workers’ Memorial Day. This year US unions are highlighting the lifesaving role of organizing for safe work, stressing this is now a fundamental right. It notes racial and other social inequalities in occupational safety and health are a major problem.
AFL-CIO says the US Occupational Safety and Health Act, “promising every worker the right to a safe job, has been in effect for more than 50 years, and more than 668,000 workers now can say their lives have been saved since the passage of the OSH Act.
“Over the last 50 years, there has been significant progress toward improving working conditions and protecting workers from job injuries, illnesses and deaths. Federal job safety agencies have issued many important regulations on safety hazards and health hazards like silica and coal dust, strengthened enforcement and expanded worker rights. These initiatives have undoubtedly made workplaces safer and saved lives. But much more progress is needed.”