The current trend of “data journalism” on the internet increasingly uses maps to present various statistics pictorially. A new, student-run project based in the U.S. provides a visual representation of worker fatalities and injuries across the globe.
The Pump Handle recently called attention to Global Worker Watch, “an open data, open research project that seeks to provide more complete information on worker fatalities and catastrophes in low-wage industries by scraping, mining, connecting and geocoding data from various sources.”
A map of the world on GWW’s homepage contains a blue dot for each incident in 2014. The larger the dot, the more workers killed or injured. Mousing over a dot opens a box containing more information about the incident, such as:
- number of victims
- brief description of incident
- name of employer, and
- location (city and country).
A click box in the upper right-hand corner of the map allows the user to isolate incidents by particular industries.
Below the map is a graph with each day in 2014 along one axis and the number of workers killed or injured along the other. Mousing over a particular spot shows how many workers were killed or injured on that day.
Is this project complete? No – the website states it’s in its infancy.
“Global Worker Watch seeks to make these tragedies visible to consumers, who have enormous power in determining how their goods are produced,” the website’s About page states.
That it does. And it is a unique representation of these statistics, including those in the U.S., which many people may be unaware of.
Certainly, when workplace incidents cause multiple deaths, they are more likely to be covered in the national news media.
But many workplace deaths happen one at a time. Those get coverage by local media close to where the incident took place.
But aside from that local coverage, it may not be apparent to the average U.S. citizen, for example, how more than 4,600 worker deaths accumulate each year.
GWW provides the pictorial answer: They often accumulate one dot (person) at a time … a fact that often goes unreported in the general media.