May 3, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Boston, MA – The number of work-related deaths in Massachusetts has more than doubled in the last five years, according to a report released Apr. 28 by the Massachusetts AFL-CIO and the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health.
The 70 workers who died in 2016—62 from fatal injuries and eight firefighters who had occupational diseases—represented the highest death rate in 10 years, and were more than twice the 32 deaths in 2012, said the report, “Dying for Work: Loss of Life and Limb in Massachusetts Workplaces.” “What I hope the public takes away from this report is that worker health and safety issues are not part of history; they are very much a part of the present,” MassCOSH Executive Director Jodi Sugerman-Brozan said in a statement. Among the dead was Norval Bryant, 52, who fell off a roof in Lynn Jan. 7, 2016 while working without a safety harness or netting. “Somebody’s life is at risk when things aren’t done the right way,” his brother Bob said at a Workers Memorial Day rally in Boston Apr. 28. “Too many people die to save someone a dollar.” Read more