In April, we will say their names.
The names of the mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters who are killed each year in U.S. workplaces. Sadly, we can’t say all of them because there are too many.
At least 5,000 U.S. workers die each year from acute workplace trauma, like drowning in a trench or falling from a height. And nearly 100,000 more die from long-term exposure to highly hazardous working conditions, like repeated exposure to toxic chemicals.
We all know that behind the devastating statistics about worker deaths are real people who leave behind grieving families and shattered co-workers. Their lives will be honored with vigils, rallies, memorial services and other events during Workers’ Memorial Week this year from April 23 through April 30th.
When we say the names of workers who can and should have gone home safely, we want to make sure we are heard loud and clear. By families who deserve better. By workers who can join together to improve their workplaces. By opinion leaders and policymakers who can make a difference.
Jessica E. Martinez and Marcy Goldstein-Gelb
Co-executive directors, National COSH