In hundreds of events around the nation on Workers Memorial Day, April 28, workers will gather together at worksites, city parks, houses of worship and local and state government offices to remember those who have lost their lives on the job and demand strong safety laws and tough enforcement of those laws.
In Cumberland, Md., union, faith and community activists will hold a prayer vigil for workers killed and hurt on the job. In Tucson, Ariz., the Pima Area Labor Federation will honor fallen workers and call on state and national lawmakers to make job safety a priority.
Click here to find a Workers Memorial Day event near you or to register an event.
In 2009 (the latest figures available), 4,340 workers were killed on the job and another 50,000 to 60,000 died of occupational diseases. More than 4.1 million workplace injuries and illnesses were reported in private and state and local workplaces.
The 2011 edition of the AFL-CIO’s “Death on the Job” report on the state of safety for the nation’s workers will be released. It includes a state-by-state look at job deaths and injuries, a demographic breakdown of workers killed and hurt on the job, an in-depth look at job safety enforcement and more.
With the Occupational Safety and Health Act reaching its 40th anniversary April 28, the Obama administration is refocusing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Mine Safety and Health Administration on protecting workers and enforcing safety laws after years of neglect by the Bush administration.
However, much work remains to do be done in addressing new hazards and enforcing safety and health laws. (Click here for a fact sheet.)
Attacks on job safety at the federal and state levels are putting workers’ lives in jeopardy. House Republican budget-cutters are working to make deep cuts to OSHA to help fund tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. In states across the country, many lawmakers are scaling back safety protections. Legislators in no fewer than 10 states have launched attacks on workplace safety laws.
This post was originally published by the AFL-CIO.