Press Release

AFT President Randi Weingarten on ‘Death on the Job’ Report on Workplace Injuries and Fatalities

For Release: 

Thursday, April 25, 2019


Sarah Hager Mosby

WASHINGTON—Statement by AFT President Randi Weingarten on the release of the AFL-CIO’s “Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect” report, which highlights the serious and growing problem of injuries due to workplace violence, and draws attention to the need for more action to protect working people, including supporting the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act (H.R. 1309 and S. 851):

AFT President Randi Weingarten said:Creating safe and welcoming workplaces is one of our highest priorities—for our members, their families and the communities we serve. Our nurses and health industry workers are on the frontlines every day caring for the sick, the elderly and the mentally ill, and there is no reason they should be scared to go into work, fearing for their own safety. Thanks to the AFL-CIO’s report, we can see that the notion of workplace violence being random and unavoidable is simply not true. In 2017, 275 workers died each day from hazardous working conditions. This issue is not only serious, it’s also common, and we have the power to do something about it. As a union of healthcare professionals, educators and public employees, we welcome all efforts to make workplace-safety regulations federal, enforceable and trackable, so injuries and fatalities on the job are far less common.”

Health Professionals and Allied Employees/AFT member Barbara Walsh, a nurse in New Jersey who has been assaulted on the job several times, said: “In my 16-year nursing career, I have been assaulted three times while caring for patients. Our medical facilities should set the standard for workplace protections, not lag behind every other industry when it comes to protecting our professionals and offering a clear protocol for keeping them safe. Workplace assaults have ended the careers of too many nurses, left them seriously injured, or forced them out of the profession. We must take better care of the people who care for others.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.