In this week's report, Sen. Gary Nodler, R-Joplin, pays tribute to Missouri workers who were killed on the job:
Recently, many of us watched the tragedy of America’s worst coal mine accident in four decades unfold in West Virginia. There were 29 victims in that disaster and the entire country mourned the loss. While not of this magnitude, some Missouri families have also experienced the tragedy of losing a loved one who was killed while working on the job, and we honored those lives this week.
Lawmakers, the Missouri Labor Department, and families joined together on the Capitol lawn to remember Missouri workers who have been killed on the job. “Workers Memorial Day” recognizes workers who have been killed or injured while working. In 2009, more than 109,000 Missouri workers were injured and 116 lost their lives in the workplace.
Family members of the deceased workers from throughout the state received special recognition at the Capitol. I presented Missouri flags to the families of three local workers. Andrew Wade of Seneca, Robert Warren of Joplin, and Jesse Collier of Neosho lost their lives while doing their jobs. You can see a tribute to them as well as other Missourians who died at the workplace by visiting www.labor.mo.gov/rememberworkers.
Workers Memorial Day was first observed April 28, 1989. The date is particularly important because it also observes the anniversary of the creation of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in the U.S. Department of Labor. Every year on this day, hundreds of communities and work sites throughout the nation recognize workers who have been killed or injured on the job.
Workers Memorial Day also promotes workplace safety. The state of Missouri has resources to help Missouri employers keep their businesses safe. The Division of Labor Standards’ On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Program is a free and confidential service to help Missouri employers comply with federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations. Safer workplace practices can lead to lower workers compensation insurance costs and can help improve attendance, productivity and morale. More information on the program is available by visiting www.labor.mo.gov/rememberworkers/safety_programs.asp
On average, 16 workers in the U.S. die each day from injuries sustained at work. These deaths are tragic and, often times can be prevented. I encourage everyone in the 32nd Senatorial District to take the time to focus on workplace safety this week—your efforts could save lives.