B1 Intermediate US 26163 Folder Collection
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In 1911, a fire in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York led to almost 150 deaths.
Because sweatshop owners kept the doors locked, many were trapped, and had to jump out of the high-story windows.
This incident was the catalyst for labor law reform in the United States.
But outside the US, labor laws are still extremely lax.
So which countries have the worst labor laws? And what are the most dangerous jobs in the world?
Well, according to an expert at the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights, today’s most dangerous job is "ship breaking."
This is the practice of cutting apart and dismantling huge tanker ships and recycling the pieces.
The work is difficult and deadly because tankers are built to withstand ocean storms, and RESIST breaking apart.
Often they release hazardous materials, like asbestos.
And their decomposition is toxic to laborers and the beaches they are dismantled on.
According to a watchdog group, 1 worker dies every week, and 1 is injured every day.
Although deaths are so common that many go unreported.
The most dangerous ship breaking goes on in Bangladesh, India, and China.
Additionally, sweatshop labor, fishing, and mining are also among the most dangerous professions within the developing world.
In fact, Bangladesh, India, and China are often listed as “the worst countries in the world to work in.
"This is due to unfair labor practices and inaccessible worker rights.
Laborers often must work with carcinogenic materials and aren’t compensated for job-related health problems.
Sweatshop factories that supply global companies manage to keep costs low by ignoring safety standards.
And any attempt by workers to organize unions for better treatment can result in fines and even prison time in countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
In the US, jobs that deal with heavy machinery have the highest rates of fatality - specifically lumberjacks, fishermen, and pilots.
The risk of being murdered while on the job is highest for taxi drivers and chauffeurs, which is more than twice the rate for police officers.
And although there are many more labor protections, the US actually ranks pretty low for workers rights.
In fact, the US has the same labor rating as countries like Mexico, Argentina, and Thailand.
This is partially because many American companies oppose organized labor and worker benefits.
Wal-Mart, for example, is notoriously anti-union and was recently ordered to pay almost $200 million dollars for failing to compensate workers.
However, for a company like Walmart, fines and lawsuits account for only a small percentage of their profits and often have little effect on workers rights reform.
According to the International Labor Organization, on average, EVERY DAY about 6,000 people die from work-related incidents.
This adds up to more than 2 million deaths per year, and countless more injuries.
Though the ILO has long endeavored to bring standardized worker rights to all countries worldwide, so far their efforts have not succeeded.
Today, millions of people continue to labor in work conditions far worse than the average American citizen has ever seen.
The world is a dangerous place for many professions.
Check out the video up top from This Happened Here about the perils of war photography.
Or to see which countries are the most dangerous for journalists, check out our video below.
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The Most Dangerous Jobs in the World

26163 Folder Collection
richardwang published on September 22, 2015    Joyce Wang translated    James reviewed
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