DIR Commemorates Workers' Memorial Day - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

DIR Commemorates Workers' Memorial Day

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SOURCE California Department of Industrial Relations, Cal/OSHA

OAKLAND, Calif., April 28, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In keeping with the California Department of Industrial Relations' (DIR) commitment to protecting workers' rights to a safe and healthy work environment, we strongly support Workers' Memorial Day 2014.

This internationally recognized day of remembrance is dedicated to workers who have suffered and lost their lives on the job and reflect on opportunity to rededicate ourselves each year to the ongoing struggle for workers' rights.

"DIR observes Workers' Memorial Day every April 28th to honor those who have given up their lives as well those who have contributed to California's legacy of protecting workers rights, and to renew our efforts to ensure safe workplaces," said DIR Director Christine Baker. "While the types and number of jobs will change over time, there will always be a compelling need to protect worker well-being."

"It is important that we truly honor the memory of workers who are no longer with us and pay tribute by making a safe and healthy workplace a reality for all"  said Juliann Sum, Acting Chief of the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA).

Cal/OSHA was established by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1973 to enforce effective standards, assist and encourage employers to maintain safe and healthful working conditions, and to provide for enforcement, research, information, education and training in the field of occupational safety and health.  

Cal/OSHA was the first in the nation to adopt an Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) standard in 1991, requiring that all employers have effective safety and health programs tailored to their own workplaces.  It was also the first to enact heat illness prevention regulations in 2005 with specific high heat regulations for five occupations in 2011.  

Recent Cal/OSHA initiatives include:

  • Cal-OSHA's public awareness campaign on heat illness prevention, "Water. Rest. Shade. – The work can't get done without them",  was launched in 2010 and continues to provide educational materials in multiple languages for employers, workers and the community. Cal-OSHA's comprehensive heat illness prevention program has been effective in increasing compliance and reducing heat-related illnesses and deaths to outdoor workers through enforcement, education and outreach, media and partnerships with business and labor organizations to educate employers and workers about the risks of heat illness and simple steps necessary to prevent illness and death. Resources and updates on statewide training sessions are also available on Cal/OSHA's Heat Illness Prevention webpages.
  • Confined Space Initiative - launched statewide in 2012 in response to the death of seven workers died in hazardous industries. This ongoing initiative includes enforcement, education and outreach, including a Confined Space Hazard Alert which helps employers and employees identify dangers and mitigate them with training and emergency procedures on site. Visit the Cal/OSHA website for resources on confined space hazard prevention. 

Additional information about Cal/OSHA including workers' rights and how employers can reduce workplace injuries is available on DIR's website as well as on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

For assistance from the Cal/OSHA Consultation Unit-a free service-employers can call (800) 963-9424. Additional information is available on the Cal/OSHA Consultation Services website.

Employees with work-related questions or complaints may call the toll-free California Workers' Information Line at (866) 924-9757 for recorded information, in English and Spanish, on a variety of work-related topics.

For media inquiries, contact Erika Monterroza at (510) 286-1164 or Peter Melton at (510) 286-7046.

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