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April 2020
From the Desk of Chris Trahan Cain, Executive Director

April 28, 2020: Workers Memorial Day

Today, workers across the country and around the world will remember the thousands of people killed each year on the job, as well as the millions more who suffer serious occupational injuries and illnesses, by observing Workers Memorial Day. In construction alone, often more than 1,000 workers die at their work sites in a year, a number that has not changed dramatically in many years.

Workers Memorial Day offers people and organizations in every part of the construction industry two important opportunities: to honor those who have died and to strengthen their commitment to ensuring that every worker has a safe workplace.

There are many ways to help meet this goal -- here are just three: 
  • Reduce falls, which cause more than one in three work-related deaths in construction, by keeping efforts like the Campaign to Prevent Falls in Construction an area of focus year-round 
  • Respond to mental health issues, including addiction, which have hit construction workers throughout the U.S. especially hard over the past several years and are likely to increase with the uncertainties around COVID-19
  • Protect workers from COVID-19 by having an exposure control plan and a designated safety officer at each job, providing handwashing facilities and cleaning supplies to keep hands and equipment clean, and providing workers with proper protective equipment.  
There are many other ways to keep construction sites free from hazards, and it's crucial to remember that workers cannot create safe job sites alone -- it takes the commitment of owners, contractors, managers, government officials, and many others.

Let's honor those who have died by protecting today's workers.

Chris Trahan Cain
Executive Director

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CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training, 8484 Georgia Ave. #1000, Silver Spring, MD 20910
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