"Every day, 12 people go to work and don't come home. This is intolerable," Michaels said in the audio message. According to OSHA, 38 workers lost their lives per day when the Occupational Safety and Health Act was passed in 1970.
"On this solemn occasion, we urge everyone to raise their voices in support of workers' rights and to remember those who have paid the ultimate price of unsafe working conditions. Making a living shouldn't include dying," Michaels concluded.
In addition to Michaels' message, which can be accessed as an mp3 here, several events will be held in advance of Workers' Memorial Day – including one featuring Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis – to tribute to fallen workers and create a dialogue about workplace safety issues.
On April 26, Solis will kick off the Action Summit on Worker Safety and Health at East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park, Calif., to announce a new Department of Labor education and outreach campaign to keep workers safe. The event, held from 1-4 p.m. PDT, also will include panel discussions with workers and federal and state labor officials.
In Boston, also on April 26, the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH) and Western MassCOSH hosted a ceremony at the State House Stairs to honor Massachusetts workers who were killed, injured or made ill on their jobs in 2011. The event opened at noon with the reading of workers’ names by family members, union representatives, and friends.
Michaels' Workers' Memorial Day Message: http://www.dol.gov/dol/media/audio/20120423-oshaworkermem.mp3