WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor has made an audio message available from Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, in honor of Workers’ Memorial Day.
Workers' Memorial Day, which is observed each year on April 28, honors the lives of those who have been injured or killed on the job. In the United States, 12 workers die on the job every day, down from 38 per day when the Occupational Safety and Health Act was passed in 1970.
WHO: Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels
WHAT: 30-second radio actuality about Workers' Memorial Day
Some of the most dangerous professions in any economy are the once many professions in the construction industry, I know I worked in it, as mainly a carpenter by trade but learned many of the other trades and was a multitradesman and proud of that, and once greatly enjoyed the self satisfaction myself and my fellow workers produced, for over forty years. I say once because they are no longer considered professions but downgraded to 'skilled laborers' or just 'laborers'. Where they were once respected, along with all the trades in same and manufacturing, mining etc., that respect waned rapidly over the past some three to four decades. Prior to workers would be getting pretty steady raises, not big but regular that were looked forward to, you could even negotiate with tight business owners as they knew it costs more to train new then to keep a quality worker, on their performance and satisfied customers feedback, benefits when costs for were available were also added, if working hard and getting better at those trades respect came as well. As many manufacturing trades were shipped offshore those left, especially in construction, started having their wages stagnated, benefits, not much before, were being stripped away or eliminated completely, understandable with small contractors and sub=contractors as the bidding was pushed down and general contractors became pretty much all management with very few or non at all in house trades workers, wanting the subs to do more with less man power and in the tighter schedules set, they could barely cover their own needed benefits but more likely if married covered under their spouses work benefit packages if they had any. At the same time we who actually doing the work, building your houses and apartments and your buildings you work in or all the many stores and malls you shop in were getting the blame for the rising costs, while those in the executive suites were building the bottom lines and benefiting off those rising bottom lines and getting the praise for the quality work produced! With the turn of the century it got worse, few younger workers were entering the trades and many contractors started hiring the cheaper labor forces, same in what manufacturing that was left, of the immigrants entering, legal and illegal, from mostly south of the border, hard workers all and easier to be abused by the executive suites. Look around, it isn't only in construction or manufacturing, localities started using same to save money in ever tightening budgets as citizens contributions were cut and the country who are supposed to contribute, especially the wealthy who need all given just to build that wealth, wanted even more instant needs and fixes and better infrastructure etc. still demand but don't want to contribute, even to their wars, cheered on in some twisted patriotism, and the results of same!
Saturday, April 28, is Workers' Memorial Day. Secretary Solis kicked off the department's participation in commemorative events across the country, attending a "hard hat" mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City to honor fallen construction workers. She is also inviting people to join
In honoring fallen workers by telling their stories and posting their messages of support on social media networks. One easy way is to use our 2012 Workers' Memorial Day graphic as your "profile" or "cover" picture on Facebook or Twitter avatar from Thursday, April 26, to Sunday, April 29. We also want anyone who has been touched by the death of a worker to share that experience online or by posting their name in remembrance. Let us know about your post by tagging the U.S. Department of Labor on Facebook or using #workersremembered as a hashtag on Twitter. Check the newsletter next week for stories about the department's Workers' Memorial Day events.
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Families of workers who have lost their lives to workplace injuries visited the department last week to tell their stories and to express their views on current Occupational Safety and Health Administration initiatives. Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels along with OSHA leadership were on hand to meet with families who traveled to Washington, D.C., from across the country. Each family member told the story of the loved one who was lost and the trials of the healing process. The meeting was a sobering reminder of the tremendous urgency and vital importance of ensuring safe working conditions for all workers.
View the Slideshow
In 2010, more than 10,000 workers in the construction industry were injured after falling from heights, and another 255 workers died. Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry, accounting for one in every three construction worker deaths. On April 26, at an Action Summit for Worker Safety and Health in Los Angeles in observance of Workers' Memorial Day, Secretary Solis announced a major new outreach campaign to provide employers and workers with the information they need to prevent falls. The campaign was developed in partnership with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the National Occupational Research Agenda program. OSHA and NIOSH urge everyone in the construction industry to plan ahead to get the job done safely, provide the right equipment and train everyone to use the equipment safely. OSHA has created a new fall prevention website with detailed information in English and Spanish on fall protection standards.
Visit the Fall Prevention Site
Learn More About the Campaign