Where Hazards Exist, Workers are at Risk
It was on April 28, 1971 that Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act, promising every worker the right to a safe job. We continue to make the promise and strive for safer work conditions and practices that help ensure our employees make it home safely. As we remember the lives of those lost to preventable workplace accidents, we also remember those who suffered from exposures to hazards causing illness, injury, and life-long lasting effects.
2020 saw 4,764 fatal work injuries in the US alone--the lowest annual number reported since 2013. To put that number into perspective, a worker died every 111 minutes from a work-related injury.
NIOSH Director, Dr. John Howard, once said about April 28 that it, “reminds us that every death, injury, or illness on the job represents a human tragedy.” On this day, we remember all those who paid with their lives to earn a paycheck and what we can do to prevent future incidents from occurring.
STEP wants to thank all of the EHS managers, supporting staff, and personnel who work every day to ensure the safety and health of all employees. The following five tips are some suggestions that can help support your safety and health efforts:
1. Integrate a Safety and Health Program
2. Conduct pre-placement physicals
3. Train your employees
4. Good housekeeping
5. Don’t take shortcuts
What can you do to bring awareness to this day at your facility?
There are numerous events planned this week to help EHS professionals acknowledge Workers’ Memorial Day. OSHA has listed both national and state events at the link below.
If you want to involve your entire facility in bringing awareness to this day, we have scoured the internet to find some of the top activities we believe can help you do so:
Coordinate a moment of silence to remember those who have died on the job and to highlight job safety problems in your workplace;
Plant a tree (with a dedication plaque) in remembrance of members who died in the workplace;
Fly flags at half-mast at your workplace and union hall;
Wear black ribbons or armbands at your workplace in remembrance of those who you have lost;
Create and publish digital fliers on social media and organizing a call-in to congressional representatives during lunchtimes or break times. Tell your members of Congress to support stronger safety and health regulations and worker safety and health protections.
Conduct workshops to educate workers about job safety hazards and how to exercise job safety rights.
Create a memorial at your workplace or in your community for employees who have lost their lives on the job
STEP believes an educated workforce is a safe workforce. Contact us today to get help with your safety training and consulting needs!
Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021, December 16). National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2020. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/cfoi.pdf
International Brotherhood of Teamsters. (n.d.). 2020 Workers’ Memorial Day Activities Fact Sheet. https://teamster.org/2020-workers-memorial-day-activities-fact-sheet/
Page, L. (2018, January 29). 10 Tips to Prevent Workplace Injuries. Concentra. https://www.concentra.com/resource-center/articles/10-tips-to-prevent-workplace-injuries/
Walter, L. (2013, April 26). Workers’ Memorial Day: 25 Years of Commemorating Fallen Workers. EHS Today. https://www.ehstoday.com/safety/article/21915673/workers-memorial-day-25-years-of-commemorating-fallen-workers