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New Report Says Kansas Dangerous Place To Work

According to a new report from the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, Kansas is a dangerous place to work when compared with most other states.

The report, "Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect," ranks Kansas 40th out of the 50 states based on the rate of workplace fatalities in 2011.

"And it's just absolutely terrible," says Bruce Tunnell, the executive Vice President of the Kansas AFL-CIO.

He says the state is simply not seriously about workplace safety, as evidenced by the 78 fatalities in 2011. That's a rate of 5.9 per 100 thousand workers, compared to the nationwide rate of 3.5 per 100 thousand.

Tunnell says the danger is highest in the construction industry, especially for Latino workers.

"These are people's sons and husbands and wives. They're being killed on the job and they're not being compensated at all for it. $125,000 maximum penalty in the state of Kansas? That's ridiculous."

The AFL-CIO's report says that OSHA is so under-funded and under-staffed, it would take the agency a 105 years to inspect each workplace in Kansas once.