Today is the 25th Anniversary of Workers Memorial Day. On Workers’ Memorial Day we remember the workers who lost their lives on the job. OSHA describes Workers’ Memorial Day as “a day to honor 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 workers. It is also the day OSHA was established in 1971.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2019, 186 workers died on the job in North Carolina (an increase from 178 in 2018) and 5,333 workers died on the job throughout the United States (an increase from 5,250 in 2018). Every worker should feel protected at work from physical harm, harassment, and illegal employment practices. Sadly, the data shows an increase in workers deaths on the job in 2019.
This is a good time to think about how risky some jobs are and to remind us about the responsibility that employers have to protect their workers. As business owners ourselves, we understand the need to get a job done. But if the job can’t be done safely, should you be doing it at all?
The largest percentage of fatalities came from:
Which occupations saw the most worker deaths in 2019?
- Transportation and material moving occupations (including Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers)
- Construction and Extraction Occupations (including Construction Trade Workers and Construction Laborers)
- Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations
So, please take a moment today to consider the risk some workers and their families took to construct your workplace and transport those groceries that we all need to survive!