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The average person spends about 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime. Each year, approximately 67 Massachusetts workers never return home from work. The victims of these workplace deaths often leave behind grieving families and loved ones who struggle to carry on. Workers’ Memorial Day, recognized internationally each year on April 28, aims to bring attention to and remember the men and women who have suffered injury, illness, and died while on the job. In addition, Workers’ Memorial Day offers the opportunity, for those who can implement change, to ensure safe and healthy workplaces and jobs for all workers.

One example of a recurrent cause of work-related death in Massachusetts is falls, with a majority of them happening in residential construction. In an effort to keep workers safe, MDPH has supported the yearly outreach efforts of the national fall prevention “Safety Pays. Falls Cost.” campaign and the Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction. A Safety Stand-Down is an event for employers to talk with employees about fall hazards and help to reinforce the importance of fall prevention. This year, events across the country will be taking place May 7 through the 11th.

Every employer should provide workers safety training to help ensure the work is being done as safely as possible. Aside from the safety trainings provided by your job, you can check out online safety resources offered by National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) or in-person trainings offered by your local workers center. It would be a fitting way to commemorate workers that have died, not just on Workers’ Memorial Day, but every day.

 

Written By:


Health Communicator and Outreach Specialist in the Occupational Health Surveillance Program

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