Falling from scaffolding, getting hurt by chemical hazards, getting cut by, caught in or crushed by equipment… many Mesa County workers face hazards like this every day on the job.
A significant number of people in Mesa County work in some the country’s most dangerous occupations. Nationwide 5,190 workers were killed on the job in 2016. On average, that’s more than 99 people a week, or over 14 worker deaths every day. The construction industry has by far the highest fatality rate of any industry in the U.S., accounting for fully 21% of workplace fatalities. 823 oil and gas industry workers were killed on the job in the U.S. from 2003 to 2010 — a fatality rate seven times greater than the rate for all U.S. industries. There were over a dozen fires and explosions at Colorado oil and gas facilities in the eight months following the fatal blast in Firestone, Colorado, in April, 2017 that killed two people in their home. In one 12 year span, one oil and gas worker was killed every three months in Colorado, all while workers face a system more focused on protecting drilling companies than the people who work for them.
Do you work in oil and gas or construction? Trump is eroding your workplace protections.
Together the oil and gas and construction industries account for about 13% of all of Mesa County’s jobs, and people who work in these areas need to know that President Trump is not on your side. He signed an executive order last fall eviscerating five workplace safety panels created by law decades ago to advise the Department of Labor on how to improve workplace health and safety and protect whistleblowers who report dangerous conditions. Trump issued an executive order last fall formally abandoning the groups.
One panel was in the middle of recommending ways to prevent workers from being killed by large trucks backing up. Another committee Trump shut down had put three years into creating recommendations for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on how to better train and monitor temporary workers, who are especially susceptible to death and injury on the job. Trump also allowed a nuclear advisory board to lapse, whose job was helping sick workers get medical benefits. Trump has also rolled back health and safety reporting requirements which helped OSHA track workplace injuries and deaths.
You can count on Republicans to lavish privilege on big business owners by gracing them with perks like big tax cuts while cutting protections for consumers and people who work for wages, and while erosing the social safety net for middle and poorer classes.