Today, April 28th is the day that the unions of the AFL-CIO take action to make workplaces safer for both union and non union workers. It has become known as Workers’ Memorial Day, a day of remembrance for the people who have lost their lives while on the job. These days it is hard to ignore the tragedies that confront workers internationally such as the recent building collapse in Bangladesh which killed hundreds of garment factory workers or those that occur in our own country – the young police officer killed while on duty by the alleged Boston Marathon Bombers or the first responders killed during the West, Texas fertilizer explosion when they ran to the danger. While these deaths were well publicized because of their notoriety, they represent only a small part of the story as there are thousands more killed each year which few of us hear about.
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4693 workers were killed on the job in 2011 up from the previously reported 4609. It will be months before a final tally is determined for 2012.
“Every day in America, 13 people go to work and never come home. Every year in America, nearly 4 million people suffer a workplace injury from which some may never recover. These are preventable tragedies that disable our workers, devastate our families, and damage our economy. American workers are not looking for a handout or a free lunch. They are looking for a good day’s pay for a hard day’s work. They just want to go to work, provide for their families, and get home in one piece.”
– Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, Workers Memorial Day speech April 26, 2011
Let’s pause for a moment and remember those we represent – those who are maimed, injured and killed while performing workplace functions and pray that those injuries and deaths that are preventable will not be included in future statistics.
Prior results do not guarantee outcomes.