MIOSHA Calls for Renewed Commitment to Workplace Safety on "Workers Memorial Day"

Media Contact: LARA Communications 517-373-9280
Email: mediainfo@michigan.gov

April 27, 2018 – Employers are urged to make workplace safety and health a continued priority as the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) recognizes Workers Memorial Day on Saturday, April 28. The MIOSHA program is part of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).

Every year on April 28, Workers Memorial Day is observed across America to remember 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.

"We reinforce our efforts toward preventing workplace tragedies, so every worker can go home from work safe, every day," said MIOSHA Director Bart Pickelman. "MIOSHA remains steadfast in its mission to help protect the lives of Michigan's working men and women."

Employers have a legal obligation to provide a safe and healthy work environment for employees. The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Act (MIOSH Act) requires employers to provide "a workplace free of recognized hazards that are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to the employees."

Every worker has the ultimate right to return home safely from their job. In Michigan in 2017 there were 38 fatal workplace accidents investigated by MIOSHA. This decrease from the 43 fatalities in 2016 shows the steady progress MIOSHA has made toward reducing workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities since the agency was created in 1975.

"Even one job-related fatality is one too many,” said Pickelman. “While nothing can replace a life lost, one way to honor these workers is make sure a similar tragedy is prevented.”

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.

Also available at no cost to employers, is MIOSHA’s Consultation Education and Training (CET) Division. CET consultants are available to help employers develop and implement long-term safety and health programs, and comply with current MIOSHA regulations. For free statewide assistance, companies can call the CET division at 517-284-7720; toll-free at 800-866-4674, or visit the 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.

For more information about MIOSHA, please visit www.michigan.gov/miosha.
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