Arizona to Honor Workers Killed on the Job

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 37 workers were killed while working in Arizona in 2012. These workers leave families and loved ones behind that must carry on without them. Few ceremonies mark their passing, though their service is as highly valued as others who give their lives. Arizona has decided to create a special day to honor these members of the community who have lost their lives while attending to their normal work duties.

Workplace Deaths and Injuries

Many workers encounter hazards on the job in a variety of fields. Roofing, construction, mining, fishing, forestry and transportation are just a few of the trades associated with high fatality rates. These fields hold intrinsic hazards that must be managed every day by workers involved in these tasks. Injuries associated with these jobs can cause long-term disability, which changes their lifestyle and affects the financial stability of their families. The injuries and deaths that occur on the job have a profound and lasting effect on the families and the communities in which they live. In Arizona alone, 54,000 workers suffered injuries in 2012. This is clearly an issue that needs to be addressed.

Safety on the Job

In 1970, Congress passed the Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA). This was designed to minimize the injuries and deaths that occurred among workers in the United States. Although the Act did much to help protect workers from mechanical and chemical hazards in the workplace, these issues are still a matter of concern today. Employee injury statistics vary widely from state to state and often depend on the type of work being performed. Injuries from falls, mechanical malfunctions, and operator error still dominate the list of causes for worker injuries and deaths.

Honoring Lost Workers

Arizona state lawmakers, families of the deceased, and other supporters will gather to honor these workers who were lost performing their assigned tasks. They will be remembered as valued members of the community who contributed to the good of their companies and communities. Workers who have experienced injuries on the job will speak during the event. The organizers of the memorial service and ceremony hope to call attention to the important issue of worker safety on the job.

Sources:
http://www.aflcio.org/Issues/Job-Safety/Death-on-the-Job-Report
http://www.aflcio.org/content/download/79431/1935361/8+Occupational+Fatalities+by+Industry2011+PIE+CHART+final.pdf