Not happy in your current job? Perhaps this statistic might change your mind: every day an average of 12 U.S. workers die on the job. So maybe your job isn't so bad after all.
The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) recently released a report titled "Death on the Job" that lists the states where workers are at highest risk for injury and death.
Topping that list? Well, according to the AFL-CIO study it's North Dakota, with a fatality rate that is five times higher than the country's average. The report claims there are almost 18 deaths per 100,000 workers in North Dakota. While the report adds the energy industry is booming there, they also cite increased homelessness and crime rates as well.
The study found that overall 4,628 workers were killed in the United States during 2012 due to workplace injuries. An additional 50,000 died from occupational diseases.
The study reports that in general, employees in the gas and oil industry typically face higher risks, but researchers found North Dakota's rate was higher compared to other states that have great energy industries. As an example, as America's top oil-producing state, Texas had a death rate of about five workers per 100,000 in 2012, significantly lower than North Dakota's.
After North Dakota's fatality rate (17.7 per 100,000 workers), which was the highest ever recorded for the state, the top five were Wyoming (12.2), Alaska (8.9), Montana (7.3) and West Virginia (6.9).
The lowest state fatality rate (1.4 per 100,000 workers) was reported in Massachusetts, followed by Rhode Island (1.7), Connecticut (2.1), and New Hampshire and Washington (2.2).
The report urges the Obama administration to continue to institute higher financial penalties for workplaces where safety violations occur. The current administration has increased penalties over the last several years. In October 2010 the Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced a new penalty policy to more appropriately reflect the gravity of particular violations and provide a greater deterrence.
"The new policy changed the formulas for calculating penalties to utilize more fully OSHA's statutory authority for assessing penalties, (e.g., a $7,000 maximum penalty for serious violations and a maximum of $70,000 for willful and repeat violations), and to ensure deep discounts are not given for the most serious of violations," the report reads.
Since 1970, the number of fatalities in the workplace has declined in general. There were 13,800 workplace deaths reported during this year. In 2012, about 4,600 fatalities were reported.