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PUBLISHED: 1:48 PM on Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Report ranks Alaska worst state for workplace safety
The AFL-CIO will released its annual Death on the Job report April 24, which identifies how many people lost their lives and were injured at workplaces in the past year, and provides in-depth national and state analysis on workplace safety.

According to the report, Alaska has the worst record of all states for worker safety in 2006, with the highest rate of job fatalities. Alaska's rate for worker fatalities (13.8/100,000 workers) is more than three times the national average of. In total, Alaska had 45 work-related deaths in 2006, and another 12,300 workers died due to occupational diseases. Rhode Island and New Hampshire were the safest with 1.8 deaths per 100,000.

The release of the report coincides with Workers Memorial Day on April 28, which commemorates workers who died or were injured in the past year. As part of the day of remembrance, community and union members in the United States and around the world will participate in hundreds of events to remember local workers and draw attention to the problem of unaddressed workplace hazards.

In 2006, 4.1 million American workers were injured and 5,840 workers were killed due to job hazards. Another 50,000-60,000 died due to occupational diseases. On an average day, 153 workers lose their lives as a result of workplace injuries and disease, and another 11,233 are injured.

In Alaska, there are only 14 OSHA inspectors. At this ratio, these inspectors are only able to inspect workplaces in the state, on average, once every 47 years. In addition, in 2007 the average Alaska OSHA penalty for employers who allowed "conditions creating a substantial probability of death or serious physical harm to workers" was just $825. The average total penalty in cases involving worker deaths was just $3,952.


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