Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., honored America's workers on Labor Day by launching an interactive online map that tracks the location, employer, date, cause of death and name of every worker killed on the job.
Miller, chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, said the map represented approximately 10 percent of deaths that occurred in U.S. workplaces during 2007. It is not a comprehensive report, but it demonstrates the need to strengthen worker safety protections, he said.
When visiting the interactive online map (http://edlabor.house.gov/issues/workerdeaths.shtml), viewers can search for fatalities by state. Dots appear on the map to represent victims who have died while working on the job within the selected state. When viewers click on a dot, an information box appears to show the name of the victim, the victim's company and industry, the cause of death and the date and location of the incident.
“Each year, thousands of American workers die on the job. Sixteen workers are killed in workplace accidents each day. Ten times that many die of occupational diseases caused by hazards (or hazardous substances) like asbestos. And every 2.5 seconds, a worker is injured in the United States,” said Miller. “…There are simply too many American workers, from all walks of life, who get injured, sick or killed on the job.”
According to Miller, launching the online map of worker fatalities may remind Americans of the urgent need for increased efforts to eliminate unsafe conditions on the job. The map relies on published news reports in 2007 to show worker fatalities nationwide. The map represents roughly 10 percent of the total number of on-the-job fatalities so far this year.
He referred to the tragedy at Utah's Crandall Canyon mine to illustrate the dangers workers still face every day. “It is my hope that the launch of this map will help policymakers and the public understand the extent of workplace fatalities in this country and the importance of acting aggressively to improve workplace safety,” said Miller.