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Honoring 11 Granite State Lives Lost at Work

Events will be held across New England for Workers' Memorial Day. In New Hampshire, 11 workers who died on the job in the Granite State last year will be remembered. (MassCOSH)
Events will be held across New England for Workers' Memorial Day. In New Hampshire, 11 workers who died on the job in the Granite State last year will be remembered. (MassCOSH)
April 28, 2016

CONCORD, N.H. – Today is Workers' Memorial Day and there will be events across New England to pay tribute to lives lost in the workplace and to put the focus on worker safety to prevent future deaths.

Brian Mitchell, executive director of the New Hampshire Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (NHCOSH), says some of the 11 workers who died on the job last year died of heart attacks.

And he says when it comes to ensuring worker safety a big factor these days is where you are from.

"I work with a lot of immigrants, and a lot of them are afraid to speak out because the employer will either fire them, or they'll call ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) on them,” he states. “And even if you're documented, it still throws the fear of God into these people. "

Mitchell says there is plenty of evidence to show the first day is often the most dangerous day on the job.

His group is showing a documentary tonight at Red River Theatres in Concord that depicts the life of a temporary worker named Day Davis who was killed during his first day on the job.

Jeff Newton with the Bay State counterpart, MassCOSH, says there will be events today all across New England, with the biggest likely to be at the State House in Boston.

"And what we will be doing is reading the names of the workers killed aloud, and we will be having labor leaders speak as well as having family members who lost a loved one speak as to why workplace safety needs to be a higher public priority," he states.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), more than 4,600 workers nationwide were killed on the job in 2014. About one-in-five deaths were in construction jobs.

If you encounter a safety concern on the job, you're encouraged to contact NHCOSH, OSHA or your labor union.


Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NH