Every year (on April 28th), OSHA recognizes an important day for respecting and remembering all those who have lost their lives on the job; this day is a national day of remembrance named Workers’ Memorial Day (aka International Workers’ Memorial Day – #IWMD). For those of us in roofing and construction, we are well aware of the high-risk nature of the workplace and how mitigating those risks through safety training and education is key to reducing serious injuries and fatalities in the industry.
During Workers’ Memorial Day, we take a moment to pause and pay our respects to those who have lost their lives on the job, while recognizing the impact these tragic losses have on families, co-workers, and communities. This year, the day holds even more significance as the risks have extended well beyond the construction industry and into the lives of essential workers who have put their lives on the line every day during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those essential workers are not only on the frontlines in hospitals and healthcare facilities, but they also include grocery workers, meatpackers, delivery drivers, farmworkers, law enforcement officers, teachers, sanitation workers and more.
This year, Workers’ Memorial Day has also reached a milestone – Today, marks fifty years since the Occupational Safety and Health Act went into effect, promising every worker the right to a safe job. As stated on OSHA’s website, on this day “we remember and honor every worker who has lost their life to largely preventable fatal injuries and illnesses, and we commit ourselves to fighting to make sure that others do not suffer the same terrible fate.”
Although it isn’t quite possible to safely gather in large groups to share in this day together, one can still spread the message and remembrance by creating conversations around social media and encouraging people to take necessary measures to create a better tomorrow. Additionally, OSHA will be hosting a national virtual event via YouTube on Wednesday, April 28th at 2:00 pm (ET). The event is open to the general public and will honor workers who have lost their lives on the job. You may view instructions for accessing this event and other Workers’ Memorial Day events on OSHA’s website.
And while Workers’ Memorial Day only takes place for one day each year, safety for all workers through proper equipment, safety training and education should take place throughout the year as we work together to reduce injury, illness, and fatalities on the job.
To learn about how Brauner Safety Services can provide custom safety training programs to ensure that you and your crews are properly equipped and prepared for all conditions on the job, contact Brauner Safety Services.