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4/25/2002



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Union federation releases worker-safety study


AFL-CIO April 25 released a study entitled "Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect; a National and State-by-State Profile of Worker Safety and Health in the United States."
The study found that safety and health protection for workers has reached a plateau, and is declining for some workers. Overall, workplace-injury, illnesses and fatality rates have fallen slightly, but are rising for certain groups of employees, including Hispanic workers.
The study also determined that protections across states vary widely: Alaska, Wyoming and Montana in 2000 had the highest fatality rates while Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Hampshire had the lowest.
Per new government data, the study also found that in 21 of 43 reporting states, ergonomic injuries rose between 1999 and 2000. For example, 40
percent more workers in Maine took off work because of an injury, as did 32 percent more in Nevada, 17 percent more in California and 10 percent more in Massachusetts.
AFL-CIO officials believe the study will help bring attention to debate surrounding the Bush Administration's decision to strike down the ergonomics standard and rely on voluntary measures.


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