Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Workers Memorial Day

All too often we hear about Americans being killed and injured at the workplace. Nearly 5,680 workers on average die on the job each year. In the last 30 years, 500 AFSCME members have been killed on the job.

Every worker who is killed or injured under these circumstances serves as a constant reminder of why the men and women of AFSCME continue to fight for increased security and the best workplace safety resources.

April 28, Workers Memorial Day, is set aside to pay tribute to the men and women who have been killed or injured at work. The date coincides with the anniversary of the creation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the federal agency in charge of issuing and enforcing standards for workplace safety and health.

Since OSHA’s inception, in 1970, the number of workplace fatalities has fallen. But we have more work to do. Today, only 24 states along with Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have federally approved OSHA laws covering public employees. That’s not enough. Every public employee across this nation deserves OSHA protections.

That’s why AFSCME is playing a leading role in the battle for the job safety rights that protect workers from asbestos, infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, and other hazards. Regularly, we also conduct health and safety training so our members can identify and correct workplace hazards.

The fight for workers’ rights goes hand in hand with workplace security. After all, good jobs are also safe jobs.

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