"In 2013, it is unacceptable that so many hardworking men and women continue to die on the job," Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO president, said in a statement. "No one should have to sacrifice his or her life or health and safety in order to earn a decent living. Yet, elected leaders, business groups and employers have failed to provide adequate health and safety protections for working families."
The AFL-CIO report, "Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect," said in 2011, 4,693 workers were killed on the job and about 50,000 die every year from occupational diseases. In 2011, 3.8 million workers across all industries experienced work-related illnesses and injuries, the report said.
The true toll is estimated to be two to three times greater, but lack of reporting in this area results in lower official figures, Trumka said.
North Dakota, Wyoming, Alaska and Arkansas had the highest workplace fatality rates while New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Washington had the lowest. Latino workers, especially those born outside of the United States, face the highest rates of workplace fatalities --14 percent higher than other workers, the report said.
The job fatality rate had been declining steadily for many years, but in the past three years the rate was unchanged, at 3.5 fatalities per 100,000 workers, the report said.