Support organization works to help families of fallen workers
In 2003, Tammy Miser was faced with the decision to turn off her brother's life support after he suffered third-and–fourth-degree burns in an aluminum dust explosion at a Kentucky factory.
"His internal organs were burned. His eyesight was gone. He had no hope," Miser said.
She felt as if no one understood her pain and also experienced feelings of injustice and anger. That's when she started United Support and Memorial for Workplace Fatalities (USMWF), a nationwide support group made up of families who have also lost loved ones in a workplace accident.
"I couldn't relate to anyone else … it's so different from any other thing you experience," she said.
Miser said the group isn't a counseling or legal service, but rather a place for support, guidance, and resources for families. The organization grew into an official nonprofit after Miser's website, www.usmwf.org, started gaining a following in 2008.
"The No. 1 thing I hear from family members I deal with is that they don't want this to happen to another family," she said.
Miser also uses the USMWF website to honor those lost in workplace accidents. "The Faces Campaign" invites families of victims to add a photo of their loved one as a tribute.