By Ronald G. Rios
Middlesex County Freeholder Deputy Director
Chairperson, Committee of Public Health and Education
Every year, millions of men and women lose their lives or suffer debilitating illnesses or injuries while at work. To honor these workers, Workers’ Memorial Day was established nationally in 1989 and commemorated each year on April 28.
As we did last year, Middlesex County will hold a ceremony to memorialize the friends, neighbors, colleagues and family members that we have lost through work-related incidents.
This event has special meaning to me. I spent much of my career training employees on occupational health and safety issues and I have seen first-hand how a workplace death or injury can impact a family, a workplace and a community. Even one death is one too many.
I invite you to join us as we gather at 3 p.m. on April 28 at Middlesex County College in Edison at the future site of David B. Crabiel Hall. We will meet to recognize those who have been injured or killed on the job and also focus on the importance and need for better health and safety conditions in the workplace.
This day is also a tribute to those who have helped lead the fight to improve conditions and safety practices throughout the nation. It’s no coincidence that Workers’ Memorial Day is held on the anniversary date of the founding of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in 1971.
While progress has been made in reducing the number of workplace accidents and illnesses, there is still much more that needs to be done.
Future workplace injuries and illnesses can be prevented if we all work together. We each have a responsibility to workplace safety, and employers especially have an obligation to ensure that the working conditions in their facilities are the safest and healthiest they can be.
For additional information, contact the Middlesex County Public Health Department at 1-732-745-3100.
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