Workers Memorial Day to be observed with Salem ceremony
Salem, OR — 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 12:30 p.m. ceremony on Monday, April 28, 2014 to honor those lost to workplace deaths. 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 2013. Oregon OSHA Administrator Michael Wood and Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain will also be among the speakers at the ceremony.
"This Workers Memorial Day, I want to challenge all Oregonians to think about what they need to stay safe at work," said Chamberlain. "Are you getting the training you need? The right equipment? This month we remember our neighbors who we lost due to workplace tragedies. But in their memory we must do more to keep Oregonians safe on the job."
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.
"As the economy recovers, some see an increase in the number of injuries and even deaths as inevitable ? the cost of doing business," said Wood. "Workers Memorial Day rejects that approach. We must not only remember. We must demand better."
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.