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Local COSH Reports
Report reveals that commercial waste work is among New York City’s most dangerous jobs. Researchers found that non-union commercial waste companies routinely violate legal requirements with impunity, with high rates of preventable injuries and fatalities. The report includes eight case studies of recent worker fatalities, chemical exposures, and amputations in New York City’s commercial waste sector.
Tennessee Workers: Dying for a Job
April 28, 2016
The report on worker fatalities in Tennessee for 2014 and 2015 includes an in memoriam section; positive developments for workers in Tennessee; areas of concern; and recommendations for federal, state, and local governments, as well as public and private employers.
MassCOSH and Massachusetts AFL-CIO
Dying for Work in Massachusetts
April 28, 2016
63 workers lost their lives in Massachusetts in 2015. This report includes an "In Memoriam" tribute, as well as chapters on workplace violence; climate change; transportation deaths; "workplace wellness" programs; unequal job protections for municipal workers; and the role and effectiveness of OSHA.
South Florida COSH
Workers' Memorial Day Report for Florida
April 28, 2016
South Florida COSH’s analysis found that workplace fatalities in Florida have dropped slightly from 239 deaths in 2013 to 228 deaths, causing Florida to slip to number four in the list of states with the highest number of workplace deaths for the first time in many years.
Construction; administrative & waste services; and transportation & warehousing remain the three industries with the highest number of workplace fatalities in Florida.
Report includes an analysis of worker deaths in the Houston area; overall worker fatality trends in Texas; a report on OSHA activities in Houston and in Texas; a section on heat hazards; and an "In Memoriam" section with remembrances of local workers who lost their lives on the job. This report is also available in Spanish.
Workers Defense Project and Public Citizen
Every day, at least 15 workers become ill or are seriously injured on Texas construction sites. Even worse, a construction worker is killed in the state every three days. Researchers utilized multiple existing data sources to estimate the costs of injuries, illnesses, and fatalities in the Texas construction industry, and to describe the shifting of those costs from construction businesses to injured workers, their families, and taxpayers. The experiences of injured workers are also described throughout the report.
Western New York Council on Occupational Safety and Health
Fatal Falls: The Downside of the Construction Boom
January 26, 2016
Findings of the report revealed that 83% of OSHA inspections led to a violation, the vast majority of them defined as “serious.” But the average penalty was $1,963, which advocates state is too low to deter violations effectively. Because of OSHA’s severe budget constraints, inspections are limited, which leaves construction workers at risk at a time when the construction industry is booming.
Occupational Health Clinical Center
The Low-Wage Workers' Health Project seeks to characterize local workplace conditions in the low-wage sector of the job market through interaction with people who live and work in Syracuse, New York. This report, based on surveys and interviews with workers, provides analysis of job hazards and recommendations for next steps.
New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH)
Health and Hardship: Stories from 9/11's Unsung Heroes
September 11, 2015
A compilation of first-person accounts from responders who recall their experiences on 9/11 and subsequent World Trade Center-related illnesses. This report was written in collaboration with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
The construction sector represents 20% of occupational fatalities in the state of New York. This report memorializes the dead, and details the risk factors and causes of preventable deaths.
Dying at Work in California
Worksafe's fifth annual Workers' Memorial Day report reports on the increasing numbers of work-related deaths in California (396 in 2013), the high rate of deaths among Latino workers, risk factors, costs, and what remains to be done.
Fe Y Justicia Worker Center et al
Details on the deaths of over 60 of the approximately 500 Texas workers who died on the job last year, with articles on causes and actions needed to address workplace safety.
Knox Area Workers' Memorial Day Committee
Tennessee Workers: Dying for a Job
A report on worker fatalities in Tennessee in 2013 and 2014, in honor of Workers' Memorial Day. Includes information on 172 known Tennessee worker fatalities, eleven in-depth stories on individual workers, positive developments, on-going concerns, and recommendations.
South Florida COSH
Workers' Memorial Day 2015 report on the 239 deaths in Florida in 2013, with specific workers' stories, and recommendations for employers, employees, elected officials, and community members.
Workers' Memorial Day report on the 49 workers who lost their lives in Massachusetts in 2014, with individual stories, analysis of hazards, and prescriptions for what is needed at the Federal level, at the state and local level, and in workplaces.
New Jersey Work Environment Council
Under federal law, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is responsible for ensuring that the state's counties and municipalities have an up-to-date Emergency Response Plan, and that they make these plans acccessible for public review.
The report finds that Gov. Christie has failed to ensure the public availability of these plans, and that this failure places the public at significant risk for chemical fires, explosions, and other toxic emergencies.
New York Workers Compensation Alliance:
Cross-endorsed by the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) and the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative (NESRI), the paper considers developments in the workers’ compensation system over the past six years in three primary areas: (1) benefits for injured workers; (2) costs for employers; and (3) administration by the state (primarily by the Workers’ Compensation Board). It addresses areas of improvement, stagnation, and deterioration in the system’s core mission of delivering compensation and medical benefits to injured workers.
New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH):
Recent Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigations, enforcement actions, and settlement agreements against aviation contractors and airlines at airports around the country underscore the dangerous nature of airport work and the need for better oversight of private contractors operating at airports across the United States.
NYCOSH's investigation and recommendations, based on interviews with workers at JFK and LaGuardia airports, are aimed at reducing risk and ensuring the safety and health of workers, passengers, and all individuals who utilize New York City's airports.
Workers Memorial Week 2014
For Workers Memorial Week 2014, local COSH groups – in New York, California, Massachusetts, Wyoming, Tennessee, and Texas – have written state and region-specific reports. These studies are indispensable for understanding and correcting the underlying causes of worker fatalities across the country.
The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health has released “Examining New York’s Workplace Deaths and the Construction Industry.” The report focuses on the twenty-three workers who died in New York’s “deadliest industry” in 2013, and provides recommendations on the state and federal level to prevent such tragedies in the future.
Key findings include:
- Immigrant workers made up half the fatalities.
- Many deaths could have been prevented if proper safety precautions were taken.
- OSHA fines were too small to incentivize employers to make workplaces safe.
- There are only a small fraction of the number of OSHA inspectors needed to enforce worksite safety standards.
WORKSAFE’s “Dying at Work in California: The Hidden Stories Behind the Numbers”, details the stories of temporary workers, transit workers, food processing workers, agricultural workers, and others who died on the job in California in 2013. As the report says, “putting names to these incidents,to whatever degree we can, is crucial. It’s an act of remembrance and solidarity, and it should be accompanied by a deep commitment to prevent the next loss from happening in the first place.”
The Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health has issued “Dying for Work in Massachusetts: Loss of Life and Limb in Massachusetts Workplaces.” The report provides details, background, and recommendations on the 48 Massachusetts workers who died on the job; the estimated 480 who died from occupational diseases; the estimated 1800 who were newly diagnosed with cancers caused by workplace exposure, and the 50,000 more who were seriously injured at work.
Wyoming’s workplace fatality rate is the third highest in the nation, according to the Wyoming Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health’s “Preventable Deaths: Safety & Health in Wyoming.” The report provides 12 steps for the state and its private employers to improve worker and safety health, including:
- Expanding Wyoming OSHA’s capacity to enforce its rules
- Jailing repeat violators
- Protecting workers from exposture to silica
- Improving legal protections for whistle-blowers.
The Knox Area Workers Memorial Day Committee has released “Tennessee Workers: Dying for a Job – A report on worker fatalities in Tennessee, 2012 & 2013,” focusing on unnecessary deaths on public works projects, the high fatality rate among immigrant and Latino workers, and the lack of enforcement – according to the report “at current staffing levels, it would take 69 years to investigate every covered worksite in Tennessee.” The report gives 24 recommendations for federal, state, and local government, as well as public and private employers.
The Fe y Justicia Worker Center's Workers Memorial Day Report: Deaths at Houston Workplaces in 2013 lists 47 Houston-area workers who lost their lives on the job in 2013; provides the personal stories of some of those workers; identifies trends; and reports on local occupational safety and health initiatives.
Finally, the Occupational Health Clinical Centers of New York released "Low-Wage Work in Syracuse: Worker Health in the New Economy." The authors surveyed 275 workers in central New York, and concluded that "Low-wage jobs have become fundamental to the economy... those who work these jobs face the worst working conditions and are at serious risk of occupational injury or illness."
National COSH is a federation of these and other local COSH groups – private, non-profit coalitions of labor unions, health and technical professionals, and others interested in promoting and advocating for worker health and safety. All COSH groups observe Workers Memorial Week – a time to honor those that have lost their lives in the workplace, and to fight for changes that will prevent future tragedies.
Previous Local COSH reports:
- National COSH's 2013 Workers' Memorial Day report, "Preventable Deaths: The Tragedy of Workplace Fatalities" and read the press release
- "North Carolina Workers Dying for a Job: A 2013 Report on Worker Fatalities in North Carolina" and North Carolina Press Release
- MassCOSH Report: "Dying for Work in Massachusetts" (2013) and MassCOSH Press Release
- Worksafe's (California) Report: "Dying at Work in California"
- Tennessee Report: "Tennessee Workers: Dying for a Job"