The report, the product of a collaboration of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH) and the Western Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (Western MassCOSH), is released annually to reflect on the workers' lost lives and to "renew our commitment to the fight for safe jobs."
According to the report, Massachusetts' rate of workplace deaths has fluctuated over the past 2 decades, with no consistent trend showing either a decrease or increase in occupational fatalities. Forty-seven workers died on the job in Massachusetts in 2010 and 62 died in 2009.
"What's most distressing about the findings in Dying for Work is the number of preventable accidents that are claiming the lives of so many hard working men and women every year," said the report's co-author Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, executive director of MassCOSH. "More disturbing still is that many of these accidents are similar to the accidents that killed workers the year before, and the year before that."
Key findings from the report include:
· Thirteen firefights died in the line of duty in Massachusetts in 2011.
· Eight workers died on the job in the construction industry.
· Twelve workers in Massachusetts died from motor vehicle incidents.
· Falls contributed to the deaths of 12 workers in the commonwealth in 2011, including five in the construction industry.
· Six workers died as the result of workplace violence incidents.
· Nine servicemen from Massachusetts died in the War in Afghanistan in 2011.
In addition to facts and figures, the report also includes portraits of some of the faces of the fallen workers. Finally, the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, MassCOSH and Western MassCOSH stressed the need for strengthened OSHA regulations, protections for immigrant workers, toxic chemical regulation improvements, comprehensive worksite safety programs and more.