October 23, 2014

Ceremony remembers fallen workers

Services will be held this morning, during the weekend and on Monday to mark Workers Memorial Day.  The day coincides with the anniversary of the creation of OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, in 1971. Ken Sagar, president of the Iowa Federation of Labor, says it’s a time to honor the memory of Iowans who have died on the job. “Regrettably, we still have far too many people that we commemorate every year,” Sagar says. “OSHA has made a huge difference in terms of saving lives, preventing injuries and minimizing the amount of mayhem on workers across this country.”

Last year, a total of 61 Iowans died from injuries sustained while on the job, including one Iowan who was killed while serving in the military. Services are planned in several cities across Iowa. “A variety of locations, from Cedar Rapids and Dubuque and here in Des Moines and all over the state,” Sagar says, “we’re gathering together to try to give honor to those people who went to work for a living and didn’t make it home.”

Other events are planned in Sioux City, Waterloo, Iowa City, Clinton and elsewhere. The services are all open to the public. Sagar says, “Across the state, local organizations invite elected officials to come in and help the process of honoring injured and killed workers and hopefully to commit to doing more to make sure our commitment to workers to have safe and healthy workplaces is fulfilled.” A service in Des Moines will be held at 11 A.M. today at Iowa Workforce Development. Attendees scheduled to attend include: Governor Terry Branstad, Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds and Labor Commissioner Michael Mauro. See the listing of Workers Memorial Day events in Iowa at: www.iowaaflcio.org

(Reporting by Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)