North Carolina residents may not be aware that Worker’s Memorial Day passed recently. On this day, workers who have died as a result of a workplace illness or injuries are remembered and honored throughout the country. Unfortunately, many workers die as a result of workplace accidents that could have been prevented, if the proper safety regulations were followed and a safe working environment created by the employer. According to some statistics, 12 workers die every year in in preventable workplace accidents.

Worker’s Memorial Day is celebrated on that particular date because it is the date the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created by President Richard Nixon. OSHA is the main federal agency that is responsible for ensuring worker safety by not only setting standards, but also their enforcement. They also provide assistance, training, outreach and education.

Proper education and training, for both employers and employees, may be key in reducing workplace accidents. By educating workers about the various ways they can protect themselves while working. By educating employers about ways they can make workplaces safer, the number of workplace accidents may decrease.

Injuries can either develop immediately after a worker is hurt on the job, or may take some time to appear, as in the case of carpal tunnel or back strains. Either way, injured workers may be eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim. Compensation received through a successful claim can be utilized in many ways, including medical attention, recuperation and rehabilitation. It also raises awareness about the accident so OSHA can investigate the incident to determine how to make the workplace safer for other employees.

Source: CBS 3 Springfield, “Workers Memorial Day calls attention to workplace safety,” Jim Kinney, April 25, 2014