Tennessee worker safety chief calls recent deaths ‘alarming’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The head of the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration says a spike in on-the-job fatalities last month is “alarming.”

TOSHA administrator Steve Hawkins tells WPLN-FM four of the 10 deaths in July were on construction sites. Most of the construction workers died because of a fall, and their deaths were likely preventable.

Usually, most workplace deaths in Tennessee occur in the manufacturing sector.

Hawkins says there is an influx of new employees to Tennessee. He says there may be some who have come here for construction work who have not worked in the field before.

Hawkins says most of the fatalities have resulted in citations and fines. He is encouraging employers to review safety procedures with workers.