Chao Says Health of US Workers Top Priority
Mar 30, 2001 12:00 PM, Modern Bulk Transporter staffIn a press statement on job-related injuries and illnesses, United States Labor Secretary Elaine L Chao said the safety and health of American workers is her first priority. She said she is encouraged by the progress made in reducing workplace injuries and illnesses.
New data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 1999 shows where efforts are succeeding and where the focus needs to be directed. Truck drivers, laborers, and nurses’ aides suffer particularly high injury and illness rates with time away from jobs. Chao encouraged Americans to keep finding ways to reduce these rates and improve the safety, health, and productivity of these workers.
The Labor Statistics data showed that as more Americans were in the workforce than ever before, the number of ergonomics-related injuries continued to drop. However, musculoskeletal injuries accounted for nearly one-third of all injuries. According to Chao, “This demonstrates the need for a solid, comprehensive approach to ergonomics. It also points to a need to address injuries before they occur, through prevention and compliance assistance, rather than just rely on reactionary methods.”
Chao said she is committed to joining with unions, employers, safety professionals, and Congress to develop an strategy to reduce these injuries further.