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Honoring Fallen Workers

April 28th is Workers' Memorial Day, honoring those workers who have died on the job, to acknowledge the grievous suffering experienced by families and communities, and to recommit ourselves to the fight for safe and healthful workplaces for all.

April 28th, 2018 | Text by Ellie Barbarash, District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund Manager for Occupational Safety & Health Programming: Workplace injuries and fatalities are going up in the USA.  There were almost 400 more workers killed at work during 2016 than in 2015.  This past year, there were 14 people killed on the job each day. This meant one worker got killed on the job every hour and forty minutes of every day of the year. 
 
Friday, April 28th, is the annual Worker Memorial Day of Remembrance.  On this day, we remember the co-workers, friends, colleagues and family members killed on the job during the past year. You can read about this year’s ceremony, produced by PhilaPOSH, by clicking here.   
 
Workplace deaths are a devastating, preventable tragedy. Workplace fatalities usually happen because safety precautions were not available or enforced.
 
In healthcare, nurses and behavioral health workers deal with levels of physical violence that are 20% higher than in other workplaces - more like the daily violence experienced by police officers and prison guards.  75%, or three out of four assaults that happen at work occur in healthcare and social service settings.
 
The Training Fund’s Healthcare Occupational Safety Center and the Health Workers Working Healthy program gets funding from OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, to provide free training about worker rights and how to stay safe while employed in healthcare. OSHA representatives work tirelessly to minimize workplace hazards; and those of us with OSHA grant funding are seen as a training arm of OSHA to reach workers who might not  receive safety information in other ways.  The HWWH program has trained more than 6400 healthcare employees since 2012.  You can read more about our program, here: www.1199ctraining.org/safety
 
Worker safety is patient safety. Worker safety is community safety. Worker safety is children’s safety.  And worker safety is OUR safety, every day.

Read more about Workers Memorial Day 2018 at:
https://www.osha.gov/workersmemorialday/index.html

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