Sunday, April 28, 2024

Workers' Memorial Day Statement

Apr 28, 2024

Labor Commissioner Josh Dobson and MaryBe McMillan, President, N.C. State AFL-CIO released the following statement regarding Workers’ Memorial Day 2024:

“Workers’ Memorial Day is a time to remember and honor people who have tragically lost their lives while on-the-job. The death of a worker impacts not only those co-workers left behind but families, friends, and the community. The N.C. Department of Labor and the N.C. State AFL-CIO share a commitment to ensuring safe, healthy, and productive workplaces with the goal of returning workers home to their families at the end of the day the same way they arrived at work. We believe that every person deserves the opportunity to earn a living in a job that respects their hard work and their humanity.

“April 28 also marks the anniversary of the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which represented a tremendous step forward in workplace safety and health. Although workplaces are much safer than in the past, we can agree there is room for improvement. The NCDOL and the N.C. State AFL-CIO pledge to work together to accomplish the following safety and health goals:

- Recommending an amendment to the Labor Market Adjustment Reserve language to grant NCDOL more flexibility to utilize this funding more effectively for Safety and Health Compliance Officers.

- As we enter the warmer months, the NCDOL and the N.C. State AFL-CIO will work together to educate, train, and provide outreach to employers and employees who are exposed to heat hazards on the job. These educational and outreach efforts include in-person and virtual heat stress awareness presentations and training; informational billboards; sample heat stress prevention programs; and industry guides for agriculture, construction, and general industry. 

- Prioritize efforts to fill vacant Safety and Health Compliance Officer positions.

- Work to increase the penalty for violation of Wage and Hour record-keeping requirements.

- Work to add the requirement that employers post notice of veterans’ benefits.

- Continue to recruit bilingual applicants for Occupational Safety and Health, Agricultural Safety and Health, and Wage and Hour Bureau positions.

- Increase transparency by publishing NCDOL activities and statistics on a more frequent basis.

- Continue our commitment to an open dialogue between the NCDOL and worker advocacy organizations.

“All working people have the right to a safe and healthy work environment. No family deserves to suffer the grief of a loved one lost prematurely while working for a better life. The NCDOL and the N.C. State AFL-CIO owe it to our fellow North Carolinians to find ways to work together to keep our workers safe and healthy on the job. Today, we take this time to honor the North Carolinians who have lost their lives on the job and show our commitment to working together to reduce and prevent workplace injuries and fatalities in the future.” 

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