Lansing, MI -- With Labor Day less than a week away, many workers are making their final plans for the last holiday weekend of the summer. The national holiday celebrates the social and economic achievements of workers and is an annual tribute to their contributions to the strength and prosperity of the nation.
While Labor Day is a time to celebrate and spend time with family, we cannot lose sight of the inherent dangers many workers face every day on the job. As recently as 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that 4,679 fatal work injuries were recorded in the United States. This was an increase of 2% over the revised count of 4,585 fatal work injuries in 2013 according to results from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI).
The BLS also stated that private industry employers reported nearly 3.0 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2014, occurring at a rate of 3.2 cases per 100 equivalent full-time workers. The good news is that private industry employers also reported nearly 54,000 fewer nonfatal injury and illness cases in 2014 as compared to the year earlier.
“While these statistics are from the United States, globally there are countless workers who also face injuries, illnesses and fatal accidents due to their employment,” said Susan Ripple, CIH® and Chair of ABIH®. “In recognition of Labor Day, the American Board of Industrial Hygiene® thanks all workers who produce the services and products that society depends on. We also celebrate the dedicated individuals from the industrial hygiene community and especially Certified Industrial Hygienists (CIHs) who work to protect and enhance the health, safety and environment of all workers and their communities. Whether working for companies, institutions or government agencies, their commitment has been instrumental in preventing innumerable injuries, illnesses and fatalities worldwide.”