In response to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report announcing the preliminary Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries of 5,071 fatal work injuries in 2008 — down from a total of 5,657 fatal work injuries reported in 2007 — U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis issued the following statement:

“With every one of these fatalities, the lives of a worker’s family members were shattered and forever changed. We can’t forget that fact.

“While the decrease in the number of fatal work injuries represents change in the right direction, it does not lessen the need for strong enforcement to ensure that safety is a top priority in every workplace. In fact, today’s report prompts us to step up our vigilance, particularly as the economy regains momentum.

“Working with both employers and employees, the Department of Labor will not be satisfied until there are no workplace deaths due to failure to comply with safety rules.”