Public invited to observe Workers Memorial Day during Salem event
Salem, OR — To remember those who have died on the job and to reinvigorate the call to protect workers, Oregon OSHA invites all Oregonians to the Workers Memorial Day ceremony at noon Thursday, April 28, in Salem.
The event will take place at the Fallen Workers Memorial outside the Labor and Industries Building on the Capitol Mall. The memorial service, coordinated by the Oregon AFL-CIO, will feature remarks from Oregon Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins and from Elana Pirtle-Guiney, workforce and labor policy advisor to Oregon Gov. Kate Brown.
“In honoring those who sacrificed everything, we are reminded of the work still undone to protect Oregonians from workplace danger,” said Atkins. “May the memory of those lost live on through their families and in our collective efforts to prevent future losses.”
The ceremony will include the reading of the names of Oregon workers who died on the job in 2015. Oregon OSHA Administrator Michael Wood and Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain will also be among the event speakers.
“On April 28, we mourn fallen workers and members of the armed services who died in the line of work and duty,” said Chamberlain. “Through that mourning, we will reinvigorate our commitment to fight as hard as we can for the living by making sure Oregon's workers are getting the right gear, the right training, and the right precautions to do their jobs as safely as possible.”
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 about 75 percent since the Oregon Safe Employment Act was enacted in 1973.
“For each one of us, Workers Memorial Day provides an important reminder that at heart workplace safety is not about statistics or rates, but about individual stories, about lives saved and, when we fail, about lives lost,” said Wood.
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.