On April 28, 1971, Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act to provide all workers a safe and hazard free place to work. This day has since been recognized as Workers' Memorial Day, or International Commemoration Day (ICD). This is now a day of remembrance for workers who have been killed, or suffered work-related disease or injury.
Not only is this a day of remembrance for those killed on the job, but to many, this day is also a call to action to keep fighting for a safer work place. Although we have come a long way, there is still a lot of work to be done. There are several jobs that remain unregulated and uncontrolled. Many unions and employers take this day as an opportunity to promote campaigns and union organization in the fight for a safer workplace. The slogan for the day is Remember the dead, fight for the living.
Acts of commemoration include: active campaigning and workplace awareness, multi-faith religious services, laying wreaths, planting trees, unveiling monuments, balloon releases, raising public awareness of issues, and the setting out of shoes to symbolize those who have died at work. You can find more information on events in your local area by visiting OHSA's website.