Workers’ Memorial Day is observed every year on April 28. It is 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. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their workers. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.
Every year, events are held across the country to remember workers who have died on the job and honor them by continuing to fight for improved worker safety.
- Know Your Rights – Under Federal law, you are entitled to a safe workplace. Training also plays a key role in the prevention of accidents.
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United Auto Workers Union
Workers Memorial Day is a somber reminder that working safely doesn’t happen by accident. Preparation is a critical part of maintaining the health and safety of our members. In the last 30 months, six UAW members have lost their lives because of faulty Lock Out/Tag Out (LOTO) procedures, machine-guarding failures and the failure to follow safety procedures. UAW leaders say they must:
- Involve the union safety committee in Lock Out/Tag Out (LOTO) review.
- Consult every worker who conducts servicing tasks on how to improve the lock out system and robot cell entry procedures. Ask the question, “Which tasks involve risk and have the potential to bring harm to our co-workers?” Then ensure that the risks are eliminated.
- Ensure production workers who must unjam equipment or interact with robotics have control measures and guarding in place to protect them. No one should be entering a robot cell without being fully protected and trained on the proper entry procedures so that no body part is placed in machinery unless energy is controlled.
- Push management for updated controls such as inherently safe circuits on logic controllers, up-to-date e-stops that meet the latest safety standards and inherently safe robot troubleshooting procedures.
- Use effective energy control procedures and stop the inappropriate use of light curtains, presence-sensing devices or gate interlocks for lock out.
Additional Workers’ Memorial Day Resources: