Yesterday was Workers Memorial Day, a day dedicated to remembering those who were hurt or killed on the job.
According to the latest AFL-CIO "Death on the Job" report released last week, 5,174 American workers died doing their jobs in 2017 and an estimated 95,000 workers died from occupational diseases caused by toxic chemical exposures and other work-related health hazards.
In California, there were 376 deaths in 2017, unchanged from 2016, and still unacceptably high.
From 2013-2017, the last five years for which data is available from Cal/OSHA, there were 1,880 deaths recorded in California.
Older workers and Latinx fared the worst.
Workers over the age of 45 accounted for 55 percent of those deaths. Approximately 44 percent of the 1,880 deaths were among Hispanic or Latinx workers.
Holding employers accountable in protecting our aging and diversifying workforce with proper safety precautions is critical to saving lives and giving people the freedom to go to work without the fear of dying.
Today, as we mark the end of Workers Memorial Week and mourn those who tragically lost their lives, we must remember to be vigilant throughout the year as we continue the fight to protect workers everywhere.