Courtney, Baldwin, Scott, Takano, DeLauro Introduce Resolution in Support of Workers' Memorial Day

WASHINGTON— Today, Rep. Joe Courtney (CT-02), Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), House Committee on Education and the Workforce Ranking Member Bobby Scott (VA-03), Workforce Protections Subcommittee Ranking Member Mark Takano (CA-41), and Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) introduced a resolution in support of Workers' Memorial Day to remember the American workers who have been killed or harmed in their workplaces and promote safer work environments.

“Each day, millions of Americans head to work to earn a living and support their family and none of them expect to be injured or killed while doing their job. Our resolution demonstrating support for Workers Memorial Day honors those that have been hurt or killed, and bring attention to workplace safety, calling Congress to action to help prevent these tragedies from occurring in the future,” said Courtney. “This issue hits close to home in Connecticut. In February of 2010, a horrifying natural gas explosion at the Kleen Energy Systems Plant in Middletown killed six workers, including my dear friend Ron Crabb, and injured dozens more. It was later determined that the blast was caused by the unsafe but legal practice known as “blow-downs,” in which workers use natural gas to clean pipes. Now, eight years later, it is clearer than ever that we still have a long way to go to protect America’s workers and that is why we are introducing this resolution supporting Workers Memorial Day.”

“Everyone should be able to make a living in a safe workplace free from threats to their health and safety,” said Senator Baldwin, Ranking Member of the Senate Subcommittee on Education and the Workforce. “I’m proud to recognize April 28th in honor of all those workers who have been killed or injured in the workplace and bring greater awareness to the importance of strengthening worker health and safety protections. But more needs to be done, and that is why I have introduced the Protecting America’s Workers Act in the Senate, which expands and strengthens workplace safety laws. Every worker should come home safely to their families at the end of the work day.”

“According to the 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) research, 5,190 workers—14 workers per day on average— were killed on the job from traumatic injuries, and another 50,000 workers die each year from occupational diseases,” said Ranking Member Scott. “Congress has a duty to hardworking Americans who go to work every day and play by the rules to make sure they can return home safely. That is why Committee Democrats have co-sponsored H.R. 914, the Protecting America’s Workers Act. This legislation would provide OSHA with the tools it needs to better protect workers, modernize safeguards for whistleblowers, increase sanctions for employers who criminally violate safety standards that cause injury or death, and mandate timely abatement of serious violations.”

“The most fundamental right of workers is the right to come home safely at the end of the day,” said Takano. “Today, we remember those who lost their lives in workplace accidents and we reflect on our responsibility to strengthen protections for the health and safety of workers across the country.” 

“Workers in Connecticut and across the country deserve to know that when they wake up and go to work, they will make it home safely at the end of the day. Tragically, that is not always the case,” said DeLauro. “Too often, workplace injuries or deaths are entirely preventable. Workers’ lives must be consistently prioritized over profits, and Congress must uphold its critical role in keeping workers safe—a mission that is under attack every day from the President and his Administration. That is why this resolution is so important, and why I will continue fighting with my colleagues every single day to hold this Administration accountable. We cannot stand idly by as they roll back safety regulations, allow hazards to go unchecked, and understaff roles that maintain our nation’s safe workplace laws; people’s lives are at stake.”

The full resolution can be viewed online

This Saturday, April 28th marks Workers' Memorial Day, a day to remember the American workers who have been killed or harmed in their workplaces and to demand that when Americans go to work, they are not exposed to needless danger, injury, or violence.

Every year there are more than 3,500,000 occupational illnesses and injuries in the United States. In 2016, there were 5,190 fatal workplace injuries at an average rate of 14 per day. Tens of thousands of Americans become permanently disabled because of an injury of illness sustained on the job. Meanwhile, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is chronically underfunded and the Trump Administration continues to block the agency from implementing rules to improve worker safety.



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