WASHINGTON, DC – The US Department of Labor’s Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker issued a statement regarding the December 19th release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of its 2022 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries:
“Today’s announcement by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of a 5.7 percent increase in fatal occupational injuries is a sobering reminder of the important work we must do, especially for Black and Hispanic workers who saw the largest increase in workplace fatalities.
“In 2022, 5,486 workers in the US lost their lives. This equates to one worker death every 96 minutes, with deaths the highest among transportation and construction workers. We also saw growth in disparities for workers of color, including Black workers, whose fatality rate increased 12.4 percent, and Hispanic workers, whose rate grew by 10.4 percent.
“No worker should ever be disadvantaged because of their skin color or ethnicity; and that is never truer than when it comes to their lives and health. This is why the Department of Labor has expanded its efforts to protect those disproportionately at risk of injuries and illnesses on the job.
“The BLS census also finds work-related overdoses and suicides continue to be causes of great concern, and they are another call to action for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, employers and other stakeholders to address these very serious issues. Mental health must be part of overall worker safety and health. We are committed to supporting the mental health of all workers, just as we are committed to protecting them from physical hazards on the job.
“Every worker death has profound impacts on family, friends, co-workers and communities. That is why investing in worker safety and health must be a core value in every workplace across the country. All workers have a right to do their job without fear of being injured or sickened.”