Today is Workers’ Memorial Day, a day when we remember all the workers who lost their lives on the job. It is also a time we reflect on ways to continue fighting for safe workplaces and stop these needless accidents from occurring in the first place. Every worker should feel protected at work from physical harm, harassment, and illegal employment practices.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2020, 189 workers died on the job in North Carolina (an increase from 186 in 2019) and 4,764 workers died on the job throughout the United States (a decrease from 5,333 in 2019). This is a good time to think about how risky some jobs are and to remind us about the responsibility that employers have to protect their workers. As business owners ourselves, we understand the need to get a job done. But if the job can’t be done safely, should you be doing it at all?
In North Carolina, the largest percentage of fatalities came from:
- Transportation incidents ;
- Exposure to harmful substances or environments;
- Falls, Slips, or Trips;
- Contact with objects and equipment.
Which occupations saw the most worker deaths in 2020 in North Carolina?
- Transportation and material moving occupations (including Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers);
- Construction and Extraction Occupations (including Construction Trade Workers and Construction Laborers);
- Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations.
So, please take a moment today to consider the risk some workers and their families took to construct your workplace and transport those groceries that we all need to survive!