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CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The New Hampshire House has sent a bill for further study that would give the state Department of Labor the authority to play a role in the investigation of serious injuries and deaths in the workplace.

The bill would define workplace violence and require that deaths and serious injuries at work for public employees be reported. The House voted Thursday 177-157 for further study.

The bill was sponsored by Democratic Rep. Mark MacKenzie, of Manchester, who said public workers in New Hampshire lack coverage under federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration laws, which are provided to private employees.

Republican Rep. Leonard Turcotte, of Barrington, said the majority of the Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services Committee believe there may be value in exploring the overall concept of the bill, but that there are just too many unanswered questions about its intent, interpretation, and definitions.

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