A Contrast in Views

| October 26, 2007

I was struck by the contrast between two news stories that came out in the last week reporting on occupational injuries and illnesses — one in the United States and one in India.

The first was a press release from the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) in which the President of ASSE applauded the apparent drop in workplace injuries and illnesses recently reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.  According to the preliminary BLS report, the overall rate of both fatal and non-fatal work injuries in the United States dropped in 2006.  Acccording to the BLS press release, there were 153 fatalities from expsoure to harmful substances or environments for all US workplaces in 2006.

The second was a news report from the Indian Express entitled “Ticket to Hell” that reported that 227 sanitary workers employed by the Pune Municipal Corporation died in just the last 30 months.  This news report goes on to ask: “[I]sn’t it incredible that an occupation as horrifying as cleaning the sewers of the city in the most primitive fashion possible should need a newspaper report to ensure something as basic as protective gear and health insurance for those who risk limb and lung every minute of their working life?”

© ENLAR® Compliance Services, Inc. (2007)

Category: Global OH&S Issues, Injury & Illness Reporting

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