Alabama Work-Related Deaths on Increase

Washington, D.C. – A new report says work-related fatalities went up in Alabama last year. The report released Wednesday by the U-S Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that on-the-job deaths in the state rose by 18-point-six percent in 2003. Meanwhile, the national rate of workplace deaths remained steady last year. 121 Alabama workers died last year -- that's up from 102 in 2002. The increase was the highest among Southern states. Virginia and North Carolina had the second highest rate. Officials say most of Alabama's workplace deaths last year were transportation accidents. 62 workers died while driving trucks, company cars or personal vehicles on the job. Officials also say the language barrier for Hispanic workers played a role.