On Tuesday, April 28, millions of Americans solemnly remembered their friends, family, neighbors and colleagues who have lost their lives to workplace injury and illness as part of Workers Memorial Day.
According to TapInto.net, thousands of men and women across many occupations — about 12 people every day — lose their lives due to workplace illness and injury every year.
Workers Memorial Day was first established on a national level in 1989. It is recognized each year on April 28, the anniversary of the 1971 founding of the Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA), to re-assert the importance of effective workplace safety policies.
In Middlesex County, NJ, more than 100 people gathered at a remembrance ceremony to memorialize members of the local community who fell victim to a workplace fatality, TapInto.net reported.
“We are here to ensure that the 40 New Jersey residents who died while on the job this past year are not forgotten,” Middlesex County Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios said at the ceremony. “Most importantly, we are here to promise to do our best to ensure safe working conditions for every man and woman no matter what their occupation.”
The reason why workplace fatality is so prevalent is because a shocking number of serious accidents are never reported to OSHA, Cleveland.com reported. At many companies, especially in the construction and utility industries, the cost of a $7,000 OSHA fine is much more affordable than the cost of training personnel and implementing effective safety protocol.
“Many workplace related accidents can be prevented from a cleaner walking surface,” said Andy White, Vice President of Sales. “We use scrubbers and sweepers to remove any dust or dirt that may cause a slip and fall. The best thing to do would be to remove any oils and grease from the surface. A simple scrubbing routine would be the best solution.”
Even equipment like industrial floor scrubbers, which can prevent slips, trips and falls, are too much of an investment for many employers to make. Subsequently, workplaces often aren’t as safe as they ought to be for their employees.
Going to work to make ends meet should never carry a death sentence — and it’s up to employers everywhere to keep this in mind every day of the year.