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“We Honor Those We Have Lost by Remembering that Safe Jobs Save Lives”
Washington, D.C. (April 28, 2014) – Terry O’Sullivan, General President of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – made the following statement for Workers’ Memorial Day in honor of those who have lost their lives due to work-related illness or injury:
“Every year, at this time, thousands of American families remember the loved ones whose lives have been taken – our children, parents and grandparents – by avoidable hazards on the job. Even though the Occupational Safety and Health Act has been the law of the land for more than four decades, we still have much to be done to make work safer, particularly in the construction industry. In 2012 – the most recent reporting year – construction fatalities rose 5 percent over 2011. It was the first annual increase in six years, resulting mostly from transportation incidents, such as highway flaggers being struck by cars, and from falls, trench cave-ins and equipment mishaps. In LIUNA alone, 73 members have been victims of fatal construction accidents since 2008. In addition to accidents, workers are needlessly exposed to dangerous materials. In 2013, we made significant progress in limiting exposure to silica and look forward to implementation of a silica safety standard.
“We honor those we have lost by remembering that safe jobs save lives and by working toward the day when each of us can go to work and return home safely to our families and loved ones.”