Worker’s Memorial Day is more than just an observance and a day to honor our friends and family who have suffered and died on the job, it’s also a call to action. Yesterday in our ThrowbackThursday post we highlighted life for workers before Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act more than forty years ago.
While it should be celebrated how far we’ve come, the fight for safe workplaces is far from over. Too many suffer injuries and death while at work today and often due to job hazards that could have been prevented with proper regulations and controls in place. Workers are still disciplined and sometimes fired for speaking up to report hazards or injuries. It’s truly maddening and heartbreaking for working families.
In 2013, more than 4,400 workers were killed on the job by traumatic injuries and an estimated 50,000 to 60,000 died from occupational diseases. On an average day, more than 10,000 workers are injured or become ill because of workplace hazards, and 150 workers lose their lives as a result of workplace injuries and diseases.
As in the past, working people continue to stand together to create safer workplaces. Brave workers and allies who understand the need for safe jobs still tirelessly demand federal authorities act, expand, and adequately enforce workplace safety laws. Workers have also banded together to create programs that provide support for families of workers who have been injured or killed on the job.
Right here in California, Kids’ Chance provides need-based educational scholarships to the children of California workers who have been fatally or seriously injured on the job. This non-profit has been active for nearly four years and has raised over $200,000 for these scholarships. From Kids’ Chance: “To be eligible for a scholarship grant, applicants must have a parent who has been killed or seriously injured as a result of a work related accident that meets the criteria of the California Workers’ Compensation Act and that has resulted in demonstrated financial need”
We can’t think of a better program to highlight for this #ForwardFriday. A serious injury or death in the family can be life-shattering and often results in unforeseen financial burden. Kids Chance provides immeasurable relief for families who dreamed of sending their kids to school. A recent example from Kids Chance:
Isaac and Nathaniel Andrade lost their father in 2006 when he was fatally injured in a work-related accident. Kids’ Chance of California awarded Isaac a scholarship to help relieve the burden he faced after being accepted to the University of California, Irvine to major in computer science and engineering. Isaac pledged to use the scholarship to “better secure my future and become a better person.” Nathaniel was awarded a Kids’ Chance scholarship after enrolling at Riverside Community College to study auto mechanics, following in his father’s footsteps.
Please share this program with anyone who you think would be eligible to apply for a scholarship.