Apr 28, 2016

Ohio Observes Workers' Memorial Day

April 28, 2016  

Ohio Observes Workers' Memorial Day

"The Loss of One Life is the Loss of Too Many"

Mary Kuhlman

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Every year, Ohio workers die on the job.

And today - in this state and across the country - people who died at work are being remembered with Workers' Memorial Day.

The annual observance is intended to raise awareness of workplace safety and opportunities for improvement.

Tim Burga, president of the Ohio AFL-CIO, says in 2015, 127 Ohioans lost their lives because of workplace related injury and illness.

"Down from 184 deaths in 2014, but the loss of one life is the loss of too many," he states. "So on Workers' Memorial Day, we mourn the dead and we continue to fight for the living."

Workers' Memorial Day is held each year near the end of April to celebrate the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), more than 4,600 workers nationwide were killed on the job in 2014 - with 20 percent of those deaths occurring in construction.

Burga notes that workers, employers and the government all have a role to play in preventing injury on the job.

"The thing we want to make sure is that when our loved ones head off to go to work, that they come home safely," he states. "And that takes all of us to accomplish, and it takes laws like the Occupational Safety and Health Act to really ensure that."

The AFL-CIO is asking Congress to pass the Protecting America's Workers Act to provide OSHA protection for the millions of workers without it, create stronger criminal and civil penalties for companies that violate job-safety laws and improve anti-retaliation protections for workers who report concerns.

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