MIOSHA Calls for Increased Safety Diligence on
"Workers Memorial Day"
Mario L. Morrow 517-373-9280Agency:
Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
April 28, 2009
- Today, on Workers Memorial Day, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) is calling on all employers to make protecting the safety and health of their workers their top priority. The MIOSHA program is part of the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth (DELEG).
On April 28th each year, Workers Memorial Day is observed across America as a remembrance of those who lost their lives while on the job and to renew the goal to make workplaces safer and healthier. These men and women worked hard at an honest living, supported their families and their communities, and yet died as a result of a job-related hazard.
"Today, as we remember those who lost their lives while working on the job, let us rededicate ourselves to preventing workplace tragedies - so every worker can go home healthy and whole every day," said Susan R. Corbin, DELEG Deputy Director & Chief of Staff. "I'm proud that our MIOSHA program has championed the safety and health of Michigan workers for nearly 34 years."
Employers have a legal obligation to provide a safe and healthy work environment for employees. The MIOSHA Act requires employers to provide "a workplace free of recognized hazards that are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to the employees."
The ultimate right of every worker is to return home safely. In Michigan in 2008 there were 37 program-related fatal workplace accidents. One day each of these workers went to work and never came home. This is a large drop from the 87 program-related fatalities in 1999. While nothing can replace a life lost - one way to honor these workers is make sure a similar tragedy is prevented.
"Even one job-related fatality is one too many. However, since 1975 when MIOSHA was created, we have made steady progress in reducing injuries, illnesses and fatalities," said Doug Kalinowski, MIOSHA Director. "We remain steadfast in our mission to help protect the lives of Michigan's working men and women."
Most employers take their workplace safety and health responsibilities very seriously. MIOSHA urges proactive attention to safety and health diligence in all workplaces. Fatal accidents can be prevented when employers implement safety and health standards appropriate to their industry which can minimize or eliminate employee exposure to hazards.
A comprehensive safety and health management system is the best framework to help employers protect their workers and comply with MIOSHA standards. The key elements are:
- Management commitment,
- Employee involvement,
- Workplace analysis,
- Hazard prevention and control, and
- Safety and health training.
The MIOSHA Consultation Education and Training (CET) Division has consultants available to help employers create safety and health systems, develop accident prevention programs, and implement long-term solutions. Companies can call the CET Division at 517.322.1809 for any of their safety and health needs. Information on MIOSHA outreach services can also be found on our website at: www.michigan.gov/miosha.
MIOSHA's goal is to ensure that effective tools and training are available to employers and to help prevent workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities. Together we can make a difference to protect the lives of Michigan's working men and women.
Read more releases from the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth