This would be a good to hear more about from the junior Senator for Massachusetts: On-the-job deaths increased sharply last year as the number of Massachusetts workers killed in the workplace rose by 65 percent to 81 people, up from 49 in 2002. It was the biggest increase in worker deaths in four years, according to a report released yesterday by the Massachusetts AFL-CIO that was compiled using data gathered by the state Department of Public Health and the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The Massachusetts AFL-CIO attributed the increase in fatalities to inadequate safety precautions, poor training, and staff reductions at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the federal agency whose inspectors try to prevent workplace hazards at job sites around the country... Union leaders and workplace safety advocates said yesterday that they are backing legislation proposed by Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, that would strengthen OSHA protections nationwide. Also, any violation of the law resulting in the death of a worker would be considered a felony, making it a criminal offense. Nationally, 55,000 workers die each year on the job and 4.7 million are injured, according to the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health.


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