Workers Memorial Day 2017

Today, on the 46th anniversary of the creation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), “AFSCME Ohio Council 8 joins all of labor remembering those working men and women who have lost their lives on the job,” said Ohio Council 8 President John A. Lyall.

On April 28, 1971, OSHA was given responsibility for establishing safe and healthful workplaces for all workers – “except public employees, who were specifically excluded,” he said.

“It would be another 23 years and many lives lost before Ohio’s public employees won the right to a safe workplace.  And it was AFSCME that led an eight-year battle that finally won a state job safety law in 1993,” Lyall said.

With no legal responsibility to provide worker training and safety equipment, safety was an after thought.  This led to thousands of injures and the on-the-job deaths of about 20 public employees every year.

The new law gave Ohio’s public employees the right-to-refuse unsafe work if they reasonably believed they faced imminent danger or death. Prior to the law workers were routinely disciplined or fired for refusing to perform clearly hazardous work.

Ohio Council 8 Political and Legislative Director Robert Davis stressed that OSHA is part of the Labor Department, which is why President’s nominee for Secretary of Labor and his proposal to cut 20 percent of the department’s budget is so critical.

“It’s not just politics, it’s a matter of  life and death for working Americans. We all need to pay attention and raise our voices for safe jobs,” said Davis.

6800 North High Street, Worthington, Ohio, 43085-2512
Phone: 614-841-1918
Fax: 614-841-1299