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Public Citizen Pushes for New Safety Laws

 Public Citizen Calls for New Safety Laws:



The advocacy group Public Citizen said Tuesday that New York state should pass new safety laws to address the toll of occupational injuries in the private sector.


In a new report titled "Aim Higher," the group said it found that private sector workplace injuries cost the state economy $10.9 billion between 2010 and 2012. It recommends that the state require employers to implement "workplace safety and loss prevention" programs, which are now required of only a small minority.


Analyzing data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics from 2010 to 2012, the group found 463,400 workplace injuries and illnesses among private sector employees in New York. Of those, 245,600 injuries and illnesses were considered serious incidents that caused days away from work, job transfer or restriction of duties.


In 2012, 83% of the private sector injuries and illness occurred in service-providing industries, contradicting a popular notion that service sector jobs are less of a concern for worker safety, the group said.


The report was released in conjunction with a demonstration outside Starwood Capital Group’s Walker Tower in New York City, where advocates and elected officials focused attention on worker injuries at the developer’s projects.


Public Citizen said state legislation was necessary because the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration budget was insufficient to cover the state’s workplaces. It found that OSHA had only 115 inspectors assigned to inspect 592,148 New York state workplaces.

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