In 2011, over 4,600 Americans left for work and ‘never returned home to their families’

So the U.S. Bureau of Labor released 2011 Statistics’ on workplace deaths. Turns out just over 4,600 American workers died from work-related injuries last year. Yes, this does indicate a slight decline from the previous year when more than 4,690 Americans died on the job, but in both cases that represents about 13 workplace deaths a day – and that’s too many.

In light of this, as reported over at EHS Today, the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSE) is asking one key question: “Where is the concern?”

ASSE President, Richard A. Pollock (pictured, noted that the 2011 rate of workplace fatalities, in spite of a marginal decline over 2010 numbers, “alarming” and “unacceptable.”

He emphasized three key things:

  • Businesses need effective management systems to proactively identify any health and safety issues before they lead to injuries and fatalities. 
  • Health and safety issues are not solely associated with dangerous industries like manufacturing and construction and appropriate prevention strategies need to be applied to protect all workers across all industries.
  • The safety of U.S. workers is too often limited to discussion in circles of health and safety professionals when it should be a concern shared by everyone, including all individual Americans.

Brining the issue home, Pollock summarized the matter and the need for urgency: “These incidents can be prevented. We urge all companies and organizations to take measures now to make sure they have developed and implemented management systems of control that include effective occupational safety and health programs aimed at preventing worker fatalities, injuries and illnesses. Remember, these are 4,609 people who left for work in the morning and never returned home to their families.”

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