Workers Memorial Day to be observed
Salem - Not all Oregon families are able to welcome home their loved one after a day on the job. Oregon’s Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA), a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, invites all Oregonians to attend a noon ceremony on Monday, April 29, 2013. The event will take place at the Fallen Workers Memorial outside the Labor and Industries Building on the Capitol Mall in Salem.
The memorial service will feature the reading of the names of Oregon workers who died on the job in 2012. Oregon OSHA Administrator Michael Wood and Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain will also be among the speakers at the ceremony.
“Each year, we hope to see the list of fallen workers diminish until we do not have a list to read from at all,” said Chamberlain. “Until that day, we will continue to fight for safe working conditions. As we add jobs to Oregon’s economy and get more people back to work, it is crucial that Oregon employers continue to prioritize safety at the workplace – anything else would be unacceptable and undermine the years of hard work we all have put in to strengthening our workplace protections.”
The annual Workers Memorial Day serves as a nationwide day of remembrance. It recognizes the thousands of U.S. workers who die each year on the job and the more than 1 million people in the U.S. who are injured each year at work. The observance is traditionally held on April 28 because Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act on that date in 1970.
“So many of these deaths are readily preventable, the result of problems that can easily be addressed by employer compliance with our rules and with safe work practices,” said Wood. “That can make Workers Memorial Day a frustrating experience for those of us who attend each year. But that is also why it is an important event. Because we can, indeed, do better. And we must never forget that.”
Through a partnership of labor, business, and government working together to improve workplace safety and health conditions in Oregon, the number of fatal workplace incidents eligible for workers’ compensation benefits has been cut by roughly three-quarters since the Oregon Safe Employment Act was enacted in 1973.