Worker Safety and Health Report Ahead of Workers’ Memorial Day

Screen Shot 2018-04-26 at 4.49.26 PMA new report from the National AFL-CIO shows that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania had 163 workplace fatalities and 138,000 workplace-related injuries and illnesses in 2016. The report, titled Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect, compiles data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2016, the most recent year data is fully available. These figures fell from the previous year when 173 workers were killed and 144,900 injured in 2015.  The new data was released in advance of Workers Memorial Day, which takes place on April 28th to commemorate workers who have died or suffered illness or injury on the job.

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This year marks an especially urgent fight as working people in Pennsylvania face attacks from both federal and state governments.  The Trump administration continues to roll back and weaken protections and rights for working people at the federal level. These actions have ranged from repealing or delaying standards on toxic chemicals and safety hazards like workplace violence, to efforts to eliminate key job safety research and training programs. Meanwhile, state lawmakers in Harrisburg continually stall worker safety legislation and pass attacks on the workers’ compensation system.

Nationally, 5,190 American workers died on the job in 2016, an increase from 4,836 deaths the previous year. Another estimated 50,000 to 60,000 died from occupational diseases, meaning approximately 150 workers died on the job each day from preventable, hazardous workplace conditions. Startlingly, workplace violence is now the second-leading cause of workplace death, accounting for 866 workplace deaths, including 500 homicides 

“While 2016 will be remembered for many reasons, in that year alone 163 Pennsylvanians lost their lives on the job due to workplace injuries and illnesses.  Their families, friends, and co-workers will no doubt remember them and the tragedies that took them away too soon.  It’s time to protect all working people and ensure that everyone can provide for themselves and their families, without placing their livelihood ahead of their life,” stated Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale. 

“We mourn our fallen brothers and sisters, but we also resolve to do better. We need to bring an end to preventable workplace injuries, illnesses, and fatalities.  In the 21st century, no one should ever die, making a living,” Secretary-Treasurer Frank Snyder said. 

Central Labor Councils across Pennsylvania will be hosting Workers’ Memorial Services and Events across the Commonwealth through Monday, April 30:

Allegheny County CLC
Friday, April 27
Memorial Service
When: 12:00pm
Where: Market Square, Downtown Pittsburgh
Contact: (412) 281-7450

Butler County CLC
Saturday, April 21
Solidarity Dinner
Where: Butler Country Club
310 Country Club Road
Butler, PA 16002
*This event has already occurred.

Erie-Crawford CLC
Saturday, April 28
Memorial Service
When: 2:00pm – 3:00pm
Where: United Steelworkers Union Hall,
703 French Street,
Erie, PA
Contact: 814-860-1793

Harrisburg Regional CLC
Monday, April 30
When: 8:30am-9:45am
Where: Passage to India
525 South Front Street
Harrisburg, PA
Memorial Service
When: 9:45 am
Where: Labor’s Grove
300 South Front Street
Harrisburg, PA
Contact: (717) 561-7830

 Johnstown CLC
Friday, April 13

When: 6:00pm
Workers Memorial Banquet
Where: Anthony’s Mediterranean Grill
725 Scalp Avenue
Johnstown, PA 15904
*This event has already occurred.

Lehigh Valley CLC
Sunday, April 22

Memorial Service
When: 1:00pm-3:00pm
Where: Bethlehem Rose Garden
Eighth Avenue and Union Boulevard
Bethlehem, PA 18018
*This event has already occurred.

Mercer County CLC – with Beaver-Lawrence CLC
Friday, April 27

Memorial Service
When: 12:00pm-1:00pm
Where: Mercer County Courthouse, Rotunda
100 North Diamond Street
Mercer, PA 16137
Contact: (724) 854-0605

Philadelphia CLC – PhilaPOSH
Friday, April 27
Breakfast and Memorial Service
When: 8:30am – 12:00pm
Where: Sheet Metal Local 19
1301 South Columbus Blvd
Philadelphia, PA
Contact: (215) 386-7000

Wilkes-Barre CLC
Thursday, April 26

Memorial Service
When: 7:00pm
Where: USW LU 15253
20 East Union Street,
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701
Father Grippe will bless the candles and lead the prayer, State Rep Ed Pashinski will present a proclamation and say a few words, Tim McGinley, Luzerne County Council Chair will present a proclamation and say a few words. The NEPA OSHA Area Director Mark Stelmack will speak on Safety. I will be introducing the speakers

Contact: (570) 498-9816


York-Adams CLC
Saturday, April 28

Memorial Service
When: 10:00am-11:30am
Where: Kiwanis Lake
N. Newberry St & Parkway Blvd
York, PA 17404
Contact: (717) 683-7766