Death rates in RTW states among nation’s highest

RTW neighbors’ death rates worse than Missouri, Illinois

RTW Death copyAs Missouri workers breath a sigh of relief over having made it through the recently ended legislative session without passage of Right-to-Work (RTW) measure, the latest death statistics from 2012 show that Missouri’s RTW neighbor states far surpass us in the number of deaths per 100,000 workers.

It’s yet another example of why we don’t need this deceptive, anti-worker law here.


The report issued by the AFL-CIO, Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect, shows that Missouri ranks 21st of 50 states, Illinois at 10th.

However, Missouri’s RTW neighbors fared far worse:

• Arkansas: 39/50

• Iowa: 44/50

• Kansas: 41/50

• Nebraska: 38/50

• Oklahoma: 42/50

• Tennessee: 30/50

According to a report released May 8, some 4,628 workers were killed in the United States during 2012 due to workplace injuries.

Additionally, an estimated 50,000 died from occupational diseases, resulting in a loss of nearly 150 workers each day from preventable workplace conditions.


“A hard day’s work should not be a death sentence,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “It is unconscionable that any worker has to choose between life and putting food on the table. When Congress votes to weaken worker protections or defund critical programs and when big corporations marginalize and deemphasize worker safety, they insult the memory of all those workers who have died while fighting to attain the American Dream.”

The report shows the highest workplace fatality rates were found in the RTW states of North Dakota, Wyoming, and West Virginia (also in worker friendly states of Alaska and Montana), while Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire (tied), and Washington (tied) – all worker-friendly states – had the lowest state fatality rates.

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