In an effort to both dramatize occupational injuries in the United States and make information about them more accessible, the Education and Labor Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives has published an interactive, online map that pinpoints worker fatalities in 2007.
Representative George Miller (D – CA) announced the publication in a Labor Day media release, saying, “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.”
The map, “powered” by Google, shows the location of approximately ten percent of worker fatalities so far this year. A click on any of the pinpoints brings up a balloon that lists the worker’s name, the date of the incident, the cause of the death, the employer, the industry, a link to the source of the information and a simple summary of how the death occurred.
Citing the recent deaths at Utah’s Crandall Canyon Mine and renewing complaints raised by the LHSFNA and others at a hearing in April, Rep. Miller also criticized the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for lax enforcement. “It is well past time that the Bush workplace safety agencies stop fiddling while workers die,” he said. “They must aggressively enforce laws they swore to uphold. We must do more to defend the right of all workers to a safe workplace.”