President Barack Obama, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), proclaimed April 28, 2010 to be Worker’s Memorial Day to celebrate and preserve the memory “of those who have been killed due to unsafe working conditions.” This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, as well as the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act.
The announcement comes on the heels of several highly publicized tragedies involving American workers in several different realms, notably the April deaths of 29 coal miners trapped after an explosion in a West Virginia coal mine, and the loss of 11 oil rig workers killed during the explosion of an oil platform off the coast of Louisiana two weeks ago.
In a statement marking the introduction of Worker’s Memorial Day, U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis detailed the staggering statistics that are faced by American workers every year. “More than 4.6 million workers suffer serious injuries each year. And, every day across America, more than 14 men and women lose their lives in preventable workplace incidents. That’s nearly 100 preventable deaths per week! No one – regardless of his or her occupation – should have to be injured or killed to earn a paycheck.”
Click here to read President Obama’s official Presidential Proclamation.