During this moment, the President laid out his vision of an America united, proclaiming the strength of the economy, and speaking to the importance of safety and security. However, it is with tragic irony that the President seems to have missed a critical – but often silent – problem that impacts his priorities of economic growth and national security: America’s workers are not safe at their jobs. Healthcare, construction, manufacturing, law enforcement, and emergency response – all of these sectors and more are affected. Many of these professionals go to work fearing an injury, illness, or worse. Their fear is well-founded.
Each day, approximately 150 people will die , and millions more throughout the year will suffer a nonfatal injury or illness from work. While America’s leaders should be raising the alarm when enough people to fill a football stadium die each year from their jobs, far too many are silent. Worse, President Trump and others are actively rolling back hard-fought regulations and seeking to cut funding for key government programs that protect workers.
This is not the direction our country should go in. We can – and must – do more to protect our workers.
This year, AIHA unveiled a 15-point Public Policy Agenda that lays out a vision with concrete actions to address some of our nation’s most important worker health and safety issues. While the President is right to celebrate our economic and other successes, American workers need more than just a paycheck. Opportunities abound to make progress on worker health and safety. There is much we can do today.
As President Trump said, the state of our union is strong, and he readily acknowledges that much of that strength is thanks to our workers. With that in mind, together, let’s take the next step. Let’s make this the year of the American worker. AIHA is ready to help. Let’s get to work.
Release No. WNT 19 0205