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Honoring 65 Massachusetts Lives Lost at Work

Events will be held in Boston, Northampton and Springfield for Workers' Memorial Day to remember the 63 workers who died on the job last year in the Commonwealth. (MassCOSH).
Events will be held in Boston, Northampton and Springfield for Workers' Memorial Day to remember the 63 workers who died on the job last year in the Commonwealth. (MassCOSH).
April 28, 2016

BOSTON – Today is Workers' Memorial Day and there will be events across the state to pay tribute to lives lost in the workplace and to put the focus on worker safety to prevent future deaths.

Jeff Newton, membership and communications coordinator for the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health, or MassCOSH, says workers safety needs to be a bigger priority both at the job site and when it comes to making state and national policy.

"Sixty-three workers in the State of Massachusetts lost their lives to dangerous jobs last year,” he relates. “And so, one thing we want to make the public aware of is that dangerous jobs are still claiming far too many workers in the state. "

MassCOSH will issue a report today called "Dying for Work in Massachusetts" that will detail how workers lost their lives, and show that immigrant workers are dying in greater numbers than their proportion of the population.

Workers’ Memorial Day is held each year near the end of April to celebrate the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.

Newton says there will be events in Northampton and Springfield, with the biggest event 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 OSHA or your labor union.


Mike Clifford, Public News Service - MA