The recent commemoration of Workers Memorial Day by the U.S. Department of Labor and OSHA serves as a reminder that despite a half-century of progress in worker safety, thousands of workers continue to suffer fatal injuries on the job each year.
The annual event, held April 28 this year, is a day to honor and remember men and women who lost their lives from injuries suffered at work.
Annually, more than 5,000 people are fatally injured at work, and thousands more are hurt on the job.
DOL says many of those injuries and deaths were preventable if standards had been followed, appropriate controls existed, and safety and health programs were a priority at those workplaces.
The event also gave the agency pause to commemorate OSHA’s 50th anniversary.
Before OSHA was created in 1971, many workers lacked basic protections from workplace hazards.
Since then, the agency and its many partners have helped transform U.S. workplaces and have significantly reduced injuries, illnesses, and fatalities.
The American Rescue Plan Act provides OSHA with $100 million that will enable the agency to hire more than 160 new critical personnel, including compliance safety and health officers to respond to the pandemic.
The department’s Mine Safety and Health Administration is also ramping up efforts to protect workers at thousands of mines by hiring dozens of inspectors and specialists to serve critical geographic areas.
This increased staff will enable the agency to direct more enforcement to targeted safety and health hazards, as well as provide more compliance assistance to special emphasis programs, including coronavirus.
For more information, contact CBIA’s Phillip Montgomery (860.244.1982).