Workers Memorial Day to be observed with Salem ceremony
Not all Oregon families experience the safe return of their loved one following a day at work. Oregon workers who died on the job will be honored with a ceremony Tuesday, April 28, at noon in Salem. Oregon’s Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA), a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, invites all Oregonians to attend the Workers Memorial Day observance. The event will take place at the Fallen Workers Memorial outside the Labor and Industries Building on the Capitol Mall.
The memorial service, coordinated by the Oregon AFL-CIO, will feature remarks from Oregon Gov. Kate Brown.
“Achieving prosperity in Oregon should include all workers returning home safely at the end of their shifts,” said Gov. Brown. “This is not just a safety issue, it is an economic development issue that is as important as job creation is to ensuring Oregon’s families can thrive.”
The ceremony will include the reading of the names of Oregon workers who died on the job in 2014. Oregon OSHA Administrator Michael Wood and Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain will also be among the event speakers.
“On April 28, we mourn the fallen. Through that mourning, we will reinvigorate our commitment to fight as hard as we can for the living by making sure Oregon’s workers are getting the right gear, the right training, and the right precautions to do their jobs as safely as possible,” said Chamberlain.
Through a partnership of labor, business, and government working together to improve workplace safety and health conditions in Oregon, the number of fatal workplace incidents eligible for workers’ compensation benefits has been cut by about 75 percent since the Oregon Safe Employment Act was enacted in 1973.
“As the rate appears to level off after decreasing for decades, we need to avoid the dangerous belief that we have done all we can do,” said Wood. “We have not. We can – and must – do more.”
The annual Workers Memorial Day serves as a nationwide day of remembrance. It recognizes the thousands of U.S. workers who die each year on the job and the more than 1 million people in the U.S. who are injured each year at work. The observance is traditionally held on April 28 because Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act on that date in 1970.