w o r k e r s m e m o r i a l d a y
Workers Memorial Day is commemorated on April 28th each year. It is a day that we remember those who have been made ill, became injured, or were killed on the job. We recommit our efforts to safe and healthful workplaces by linking arm-in-arm with workers, families, community organizations, worker centers, unions, and environmental and social justice advocates to make our collective demands for comprehensive action to improve workplace safety and health known and heard.
Workers Memorial Day’s origins coincides with the 1970 passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which, by 1971, created the enforcement and regulatory agency OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration). The OSH Act states that every worker has the right to a workplace that is “free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm.” SoCalCOSH and our allies continue to work to make this a reality every day of the year.
The Workers Memorial Day slogan, “Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living,” is a quote attributed to the labor organizer Mary Harris Jones, affectionately known as Mother Jones. It resonates because our work is far from done. Many job hazards continue to go unregulated and uncontrolled, regardless of how known and predictable these hazards are. While some employers continue to look to raise their bottom line by cutting corners when it comes to the safety and health of their employees, they are not only violating the law, they are putting our lives in danger. Each year, thousands of workers are killed and millions more made sick or injured on the job.
Since 1996, SoCalCOSH has been pivotal in organizing a week of action surrounding Workers Memorial Day in the Los Angeles area.