Fifty-two names of individuals who died on the job and in war were read at the annual Workers Memorial ceremony outside the Labor and Industries Building in Salem on April 28.
Oregon OSHA’s Administrator Michael Wood, the keynote speaker, said it is always the most difficult speech of the year.
"The list of names we just heard is too long," he said. "We may celebrate improvements, but we must remind ourselves that the list is way too long. I have stood here eight times, and it is never easy. But it is always important. It matters."
American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees representative Tina Turner-Morfitt read the names concluding with, "Mourn for the dead. Fight for the living."
The annual Workers Memorial Day serves as a nationwide day of remembrance. It recognizes the thousands of U.S. workers who die each year on the job and the more than 1 million people in the U.S. injured each year at work. The observance is traditionally held on April 28 because Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act on that date in 1970.
In closing, Wood said everyone has to continue to do better to prevent workplace tragedies.
"No one should give up their life in the pursuit of their livelihood," he said. "The fight is not over. Mourn today. Mourn the losses of the past. Fight for the victories of the future."
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