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Families, friends remember victims of fatal work injuries

10:45 PM, Apr 27, 2013   |    comments
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 PDF Document: Read the entire ETSU Report

Family and friends gathered at the City-County Building in downtown Knoxville to remember loved ones who lost their lives to work related injuries.

Sunday marks Workers' Memorial Day across the country. Data compiled between federal OSHA and the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development's Workers' Compensation Division show 165 people died in Tennessee from work related injuries in 2011 and 2012.

Michael Tallent, 27, was one of those workers.

He died in December after he was electrocuted at a KUB job site while working for a construction company. His father, Rocky, said his son's employers should have provided better working conditions.

"My son's life was taken in vain," he said. "It was taken way too short."

According to the US Department of Labor, Tennessee's fatality rate actually outpaced the country's in 2010.  ETSU recently a released report finding that the state needed to better its laws in order to slow that trend.

The same report also stated that employers need develop more injury prevention programs for their workers.

"Look for hazards, identify them, assess them, and then as a group, figure out how to prevent and control them," said ETSU Professor Ken Silver.

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