Jobs in the wild west are more dangerous than in cozy New England, according to the AFL-CIO's annual state-by-state profile of worker health and safety.

Alaska, Wyoming and Montana had the highest fatality rates in 2000, while Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Hampshire had the lowest.

Rugged Alaska led the country with the highest fatality rate (15.6 cases per 100,000 employees); the lowest state fatality rate (2.3/100,000) was found in largely white collar Connecticut.

These statistics do not include deaths from occupational diseases, which claim the lives of an estimated 50,000 to 60,000 workers each year.

The report details new government data showing that in 21 of 43 states reporting, ergonomic injuries went up between 1999 and 2000. The most dramatic increases are 40 percent more workers who had to take off work because of an injury in Maine, 32 percent in Nevada, 17 percent in California, and 10 percent in Massachusetts.

For a copy of the report, "Death on the Job," go to