National News Release USDL: 01-271
Thursday, August 14, 2001
Contact: Stuart Roy
Phone: (202) 693-4650
WORK-RELATED FATALITIES DECLINE
Chao Promotes Outreach to Improve Safety in the Workplace
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao said today that 138 fewer workers died on the job in 2000 than in 1999, continuing the downward trend in work-related deaths, according to today's report on fatal occupational injuries by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. -- See BLS Report [BLS Source Files]
"Even one workplace fatality is too many," Chao said. "We've made a lot of progress, but this report points to where we need to do better. We want to promote compliance assistance and training to keep reducing workplace tragedies."
A total of 5,915 fatal work injuries were recorded in 2000. Work-related highway deaths dropped for the first time since 1992, and construction industry deaths declined for the first time since 1996. Fatalities in manufacturing as well as agriculture, forestry and fishing are down significantly.
Deaths among Hispanic workers, especially in construction work, grew more than their increased participation in the labor force. Labor Department officials are reaching out to these workers through targeted partnership programs in Florida and Texas and through training programs developed by grantees. "Our Department needs to do a better job of reaching out more to Hispanic workers and employers," Chao said.
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