Massachusetts labor unions pushing for safer working conditions

22News was at the State House as they honored people who've died while working

BOSTON (WWLP) – 63 Massachusetts workers died on the job in 2015, according to the Massachusetts AFL-CIO. The numbers go up to 630 when you factor in deaths caused by work-related injuries and illnesses.

Dozens of people gathered on the State House steps Thursday to honor those who died while working last year. The Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health released a report, outlining ways to create a safer work environment.

The coalition is urging the Governor to increase workers’ compensation benefits for those who died while working. They’re also calling on state lawmakers to hold companies accountable for all of their employees, including temporary workers.

Melissa King, whose father died on the job, told 22News, “When you look at the average fine that OSHA puts out when somebody passes away, it’s less than $10,000. So, why implement safety features when there’s really no consequence except to the families that are left behind?”

Construction and transportation jobs were the leading cause of work-related deaths in Massachusetts.

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