Workers Memorial Day 2013
April 28, 2013
“pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living”
Marry Harris “Mother” Jones
1837 – 1930
Workers memorial day is a commemoration day that is celebrated in the U.S and abroad each year on April 28th.
It is meant to remember those who have been killed or left disabled as a result of an injury suffered at work.
It’s an opportunity to recognize the preventable nature of most workplace accidents and bring greater awareness
to safety campaigns and legislation.
Honoring 2012’s Fallen Workers
Fallen But Not Forgotten
More than 4,000 workers died on the job in 2012 and tens of thousands more were left permanently disabled from
injuries. Each portrait on the left is from a worker who lost their life as a result of a workplace accident in 2012.
Take a moment to remember some of those who lost their life by reading about their stores.
Workplace Safety Timeline
June 7, 1972
OSHA issues a standard regulating occupational exposure to asbestos.
July 2, 1982
OSHA creates the Voluntary Protection Program to encourage outstanding
site safety and health programs. VPP now exists in more than 1,400 U.S work sites.
December 3, 1984
Considered the world’s worst industrial disaster of all time,
a Methyl isocyanate gas leak from a tank at Bhopal, India killed 3,828 people and caused permanent damage
to thousands others who lived nearby.
November 14, 2000
After 10 years of development, OSHA publishes its ergonomics standard which was
meant to prevent repetitive stress injuries particularly for workers who regularly lift heavy materials as part
of their job. Congress then invoked the Congressional Review Act, which gives it the power to disapprove new
regulations, and George W. Bush signed in the repeal, effectively killing the new regulation.
September 23, 2001
A cave-in caused a release of methane gas that sparked two major explosions.
The first explosion injured a single worker. The second explosion killed the 12 workers that were trying
to save the injured worker and it killed the original injured worker, resulting in 13 fatalties.
September 22, 2005
OSHA announced a settlement with BP, whereby BP agrees to pay
21.3 million in fines in connection with a March 2005 explosion at its Texas City refinery that killed 15 workers.
August 24, 2006
OSHA issues its Assigned Protection Factors standard which
outlines proper procedures for respirator usage.
October 20, 2009
OSHA issues a record 87 million dollar fine to BP for their alleged
failure to correct hazards at its Texas City refinery.
April 20, 2010
An explosion occurs at the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig killed
11 workers and resulting in the largest oil spill in the history of the world.
December 29, 1970
Richard Nixon signs the Occupational Safety and Health act which created
OSHA, which set out to “assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting
and enforcing standards and providing training, outreach, education and assistance.”
November 9, 1977
Congress enacts the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act which creates
the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).
November 25, 1983
OSHA creates the landmark Hazard Communication Stadard which requires
employers to disclose toxic and hazardous substances in workplaces.
September 3, 1991
25 Workers at a chicken processing plant were burned to death after
they were unable to escape when the emergency exit doors were locked from the outside.
January 17, 2001
Determined to avoid the disaster that occurred with the
ergonomics standard, OSHA engages in negotiations with industry leaders to implement its
steel erection standard. This is the first regulation to be developed through a
‘negotiated rulemaking’ process. This marks a turning point for the agency as
businesses now have significantly more control over the development of new regulations.
January 2, 2006
An explosion occurred in a coal mine in Sago, West Virginia,
killing 12 miners. As a result, President George W. Bush signs a law requiring better preparation
for underground coal mine emergency evacuations and rescues.
April 5, 2010
An explosion at a Raleigh County, West Virginia
mine killed 29 miners.
March 20, 2012
OSHA publishes its new HazCom standard which incorporates
the new global “GHS” standard for hazard communication.
A Look Back: Alleged Petty Theft of Chicken Nuggets Ultimately Result in 25 Workers Deaths
Most business owners genuinely care about the safety and wellbeing of their employees. However,
there will always be businesses that place profits ahead of employee safety.
Emmett Roe was the owner of a chicken processing company in Hamlet, North Carolina. The company
received large shipments of frozen chicken meat, cooked the meat, then refroze it. The plant competed
with big named chicken manufacturers such as Tyson.
Emmett had suspected that employees at the plant were stealing small amounts of chicken nuggets. As
a result, Emmett instructed management to keep the backdoor (shown left), which was also the emergency
exit door, permanently padlocked. The facility housed large frying vats filled with grease maintaned at
375 degrees faranheight. The facility had no windows and no sprinkler system.
On September 3rd, 1991, a fire broke out in the facility.
The firefighters that arrived at the scene found several dead bodies located near the padlocked exit
door. Fingernail scratches were found on the door where panicking workers desperately tried to pry the
door open. 25 workers were killed in the fire and several others were permanently disabled.
Emmet Roe was sentenced for 20 years in prison for his negligence. He ultimately only served 4.5 years
in prison after being released by the parole board.
This 1994 Documentary by Robert Cotter Tells The Story From The Eyes Of The Survivors