It’s sometimes easy in this world of constantly incoming information to forget the important things in life: sacrifices made by neighbors so that their families are fed and sheltered; and extraordinary efforts made by ordinary citizens to make the world a better place.
This past weekend, many paused to remember those kinds of special Massachusetts people. People who worked hard and were taken from us too soon by workplace injuries or illness.
On Workers Memorial Day this past Sunday, they were remembered: the three fishermen who were lost at sea, the 43-year-old firefighter who succumbed to lung cancer and the 64-year-old who fell to his death from an aerial lift when an 18-wheeler rammed it, among others.
None of the 32 Massachusetts workers who died of work-related injuries or illness last year were forgotten.
Nor were the thousands of workers forgotten who were hurt on the job and were grateful to have workers’ compensation benefits to help them get the medical care they needed and the wage replacement assistance they depended on during their recoveries.
Last year, an estimated 50,000 people were injured on the job, while another 1,800 were diagnosed with forms of cancer linked to workplace exposures, and another 320 people died in the Bay State from occupational diseases.
The numbers are all unacceptably high, speakers at the memorial services across the state said. They urged everyone to continue to push for stricter enforcement of workplace safety regulations and improvements in the workers’ comp system so that injuries and illnesses are promptly, effectively addressed.
Anyone injured on the job and then denied workers’ compensation benefits should speak with an attorney experienced in this area of law.
Source: Wicked Local, “Report: 32 workers died from job-related injuries, illnesses in 2012,” Newton, April 28, 2013