From the New Jersey AFL-CIO, April 27, 2015
A The labor movement sets aside April 28th of each year to remember workers who died on the job in the past year – our brothers and sisters, colleagues, family members and friends – who literally gave their lives to their jobs. Further, we pledge to redouble our efforts to fight for safe workplaces for all, in the name of those who died. We thank our affiliated unions, Central Labor Councils, Building Trades Councils, elected officials and workplace colleagues for their continued dedication to the urgent task of speaking out for safe work sites.
Because of a strong union presence in New Jersey, our state consistently ranks among the lowest in the nation in worker fatalities and injuries. Nonetheless, 1,000 of our residents died in work-related incidents in the 10 years ending in 2013, the most recent year for which data is available. Before this year is out, we will bid premature (and sometimes senseless) goodbyes to approximately 100 colleagues from every sector of the job market. Some will die (or become permanently disabled) due to freak accidents beyond their control. Others will succumb to foreseeable and preventable workplace dangers or diseases they acquired from working with dangerous materials.