Weekly Mulch: Local Food—Where Sustainability Meets Self-Reliance
|By: TheMediaConsortium Friday October 22, 2010 8:09 am|
|By: Bill Egnor Thursday April 29, 2010 7:00 am|
When one is looking at a statistic it is always worthwhile asking if the statistic is really measuring what you want to know. Take for example, a rating of dangerous jobs. In most of these lists you will find the number of deaths per 100,000 workers per year. This is an important statistic, since dying for your job is something we can all agree is something that is to be avoided. Still does it tell the whole story?
Mine workers have a 34.8 per 100,000 fatality rate in the United States (in 2008 the last year that statistics are available) with a serious injury rate of 6.5 per 100 workers per year. Those are really high numbers (though mining is only the fourth most dangerous job behind logging, commercial fishing and strangely enough farming), but they do not tell the real story.
When we look at labor statistics we are not looking at the cost to the worker over the long haul. It is of immediate importance for making the work place safer that we focus on deaths and injuries that result in time off, obviously we want to do all we can to reduce the instance of these kinds of events. Yet we are not really counting the long-term cost of working in America.