Workers' Memorial Day is Friday

Ceremony and safety reminder Apr. 28 in Baton Rouge

More than 4,000 American workers die on the job each year - about 10 work-related deaths every day - and another 4 million employees are injured or become sick at work. In Louisiana alone there are about 25 work-related fatalities each year.

Workers' Memorial Day is held on Friday, April 28 to honor those fallen workers and refocus workplace safety efforts to spare other families from similar tragedy. A remembrance ceremony will be held 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on the steps of the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge. 

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Remembering fallen workers

Officials from the Louisiana Workforce Commission's Office of Workplace Safety and Health and from the Baton Rouge Area Office of OSHA will attend Friday's program at the Capitol:

  • An observance on the Capitol steps of those who have died in workplace accidents or from work-related injuries or exposures
  • A Workers' Memorial Day resolution to be read on the floor of the House of Representatives
  • Renewed efforts to reduce future workplace accidents and fatalities

Earlier this week, in conjunction with Workers' Memorial Day, OSHA conducted free seminars for Louisiana employees and employers on lockout/tagout rules and confined space standards.

The Big Four still kill thousands of workers

OSHA and the Louisiana Workforce Commission have made gains in the last few decades, particularly in reducing the number of work-related deaths in the "Big Four" categories: falls (from heights), struck by something, electrocutions and caught in/caught between. But there is still much more room for improvement when 4,000 lives are lost in work-related accidents.

Workers should report any safety hazards, including failure to provide safety gear. If the employer does not take appropriate action, unsafe working conditions should be reported to the Workforce Commission or OSHA. Workers should also report all accidents or near-misses - no matter how minor they may seem - involving machinery, vehicles, protective equipment or other job dangers.

In the event of a workplace fatality, family members are entitled to death benefits under workers' compensation. There might also be grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit if a third party caused the accident. Talk to a lawyer to explore the legal remedies.

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