On April 28, the unions of the AFL-CIO observe Workers Memorial Day to remember those who have suffered and died on the job, and to rededicate ourselves to the fight for safe workplaces.
This Workers Memorial Day has special significance. The Sept 11 attacks claimed the lives of more than 3000 people, more than 600 of them union members. Most of those who died were workers - those who were on their jobs when the attacks occured, and the heroic firefighters and rescuers who worked to save their lives. Several weeks later, workers again were victims as deadly anthrax was sent through the mail, infecting postal workers and others.
These terrorist attacks have raised new health and safety issues, but long-recognized hazards are just as deadly. Each year, more than 6000 people are killed on the job, 50,000 die from occupational disease, and millions more are injuried. Just days after 9/11, the worst mine disaster in a decade killed 13 miners. Ergonomics hazards injure and cripple 1.8 million workers each year, and remain the nation's biggest safety problem.
We honor those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, and all the workers who died on the job in 2001, including 107 in Wisconsin. Only 58 names are available from the Wisconsin Worker's Compensation office.
If you, or someone you know, have lost a loved one to occupational illness or a death in the workplace and are looking for some help figuring out what to do and who to contact the United Support and Memorial for Workplace Fatalities may be of help. This web site and the caring people who run it can provide support, awareness, tributes, memorials, article, self-help, workers comp. laws, wrongful death attorneys and safety resources. And most of all they care! They listen!
If you have a name of someone who died on the job in 2001, please forward it to WisCOSH so that we may include it in our memorial. Please include the date, cause of death and city/town, if you know it.