| Things to think about
most types of work in New Jersey, it is safer to do the job
than to drive to that job.
in America’s industrial revolution, child exploitation, 18-hour
workdays, low pay, and hazardous conditions were common. We
have come a long way.
job-related injuries have declined as our economy has shifted
from manufacturing to services, there has
been increased recognition of such
carpal tunnel syndrome in "white collar" occupations.
we have improved conditions for our workers, many of the products
we buy are imported from countries that have lower safety and
Technical Appendix for an explanation of the change from total
workers in the chart used in the 1999 Sustainable State Report
to a rate per million used this
measure of a successful economy is its ability to care for its
workers. Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, we
have fought for and won significant rights for workers, including
the right to a safe working environment. As a result, we have
seen the rate of worker injuries and deaths drop significantly
in the past 150 years. Accidents cannot be eliminated entirely
but many current causes of occupational injury and illness are
avoidable. Lead is but one example of a contaminant that causes
illness through occupational exposure.
injuries destroy careers and undercut family livelihoods. They
also raise the rates that we pay for insurance, the cost of
doing business, and the cost we pay for products and services.
Some jobs are undesirable to workers because of the risk of
issues are generally not associated with workplace fatalities.
However, environmental contaminants are among the causes of
occupational harm. The contaminants list is long and includes
many chemicals unknown to most of us. We can also infer that
a company that does not care for its workers does not care for
devastating social effects of injuries have been dramatized
successfully in movies and novels. The language of public policy
and economics does not capture the emotional loss and the harm
to families, communities, and incomes that comes when one of
a household’s breadwinners is hurt or killed.
and fatalities are only two of the various hazards that a worker
can be exposed to on the job. Better indicators, which integrate
worker health and safety statistics, are needed.
Source: NJ Department of Health & Senior Services