Memorial Day is a time to pay homage to the sacrifice of our nation’s veterans. And believe it or not, in the world of workers’ compensation, we have our own version of Memorial Day. Workers’ Memorial Day, actually celebrated last month, is a day to acknowledge the toll that work-related fatal and life-altering accidents have taken on workers, families and communities.
Every year on Workers’ Memorial Day, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health publishes statistics on worker morbidity and serious injury. This year’s numbers show 4,405 deaths from work-related injury in 2013, with over 53,400 additional deaths that could be attributed to work-related illness. That’s an astonishing number.
NIOSH sites work-related asthma as a significant source of ill health for US workers—apparently under -recognized by healthcare providers. One study showed workers at a synthetic foam factory were at significant risk of adult-onset asthma. Their risk of acquiring asthmatic condition was actually 12 times higher than it was before working at the factory.
Also of serious consequence is the high-rate of falls in the construction industry. NIOSH has even launched a campaign directed to fall-prevention on construction sites, which they’re calling Safety Pays, Falls Cost, encouraging employers to talk to workers about fall hazards and prevention.
Also worth noting is the vast number of injuries we see each year in the healthcare industry. Amazingly, in 2013, healthcare workers experienced more injuries than any other private sector industry group. See the full report on traumatic injuries in this sector.
So, while we’re enjoying our picnics and honoring our veterans this Monday, let’s also remember the brave men and women who have endured severe injury or death of a loved one due to workplace injury. And stay safe over the holiday!
Ramos & Law is proud to be celebrating our 10th year anniversary of advocating for Georgia’s injured workers.