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April 24, 2014
OSHA to host Workers' Memorial Day observances

Every year on April 28, the United States observes Workers’ Memorial Day to commemorate workers who have lost their lives on the job. Keep reading to learn about observances and events taking place around the country this year.

OSHA’s Kansas City Area Office will hold two events, one on April 25 and one on April 28. The first event will be held on Friday, April 25, in Springfield, Missouri; the second event will be held Monday, April 28, at the Builders’ Association Education and Training Center in North Kansas City.

The April 28 event, cohosted by OSHA, the Missouri Division of Labor Standards, and The Builders’ Association, will feature a video tribute to workers who have died on the job and remarks by Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Sly James; Missouri Governor Jay Nixon; Pat “Duke” Dujakovich, president of the Greater Kansas City AFL-CIO; Alicia G. Kerbek Palma, consul titular of the Consulate of Mexico in Kansas City; and Marcia Drumm, OSHA’s acting regional administrator in Kansas City, among others.

“Every day in America, on average, 12 people go to work and never come home, and each year nearly 4 million people suffer a workplace injury from which some may never recover,” commented Drumm. “Since OSHA’s founding, common-sense standards and strong and fair enforcement have saved thousands of lives and prevented countless injuries.”

Also on April 28, OSHA’s national office will host an event featuring remarks from Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels and Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health Joe Main. This year, the theme for the program is toxic chemical exposure; the event will include a panel with worker, industry, and healthcare representatives discussing their experiences with toxic chemical exposure in the workplace.

Additional Workers’ Memorial Day observances around the country include training classes, conferences, and more. For a list of events by region, refer to http://ow.ly/w5ITE.

Fatal injury trends

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2012, 4,383 workers were killed on the job—a decline from the 4,693 work-related deaths reported in 2011. In 2012, the top causes of fatal work related injuries were:

  • Transportation incidents (41 percent);
  • Workplace violence (17 percent);
  • Contact with objects and equipment (16 percent);
  • Slips, trips, and falls (15 percent); and
  • Exposure to harmful substances and environments (7 percent).

Construction accounted for the highest total number of fatal occupational injuries in 2012, followed by transportation and warehousing; agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting; government; and professional and business services. However, by incidence rate, the agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting sector was the most hazardous in 2012, with 21.2 fatal work-related injuries per 100,000 full-time workers. Other sectors with a high incidence rate of fatalities included mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (15.6); transportation and warehousing (13.3); construction (9.5); and wholesale trade (5.0).

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