Jefferson City, MO - Today, during its annual Missouri Workers’ Memorial Day ceremony, the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DOLIR) in a virtual event honored the 120 individuals that lost their lives in 2020 due to a Missouri workplace illness or injury.
“With ongoing concerns for worker safety related to the COVID-19 pandemic and on the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on April 28, 1971, it is exceptionally poignant that Missouri joins states across the nation and countries around the world in honoring its fallen workers,” said Governor Mike Parson.
“Today, on Workers’ Memorial Day, we honor the memory of Missouri’s fallen workers and rededicate our efforts to improving safety for our state’s workforce,” Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe said during the ceremony.
"While we as a society have made great strides to improve workplace safety, we will not forget the contributions of the husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters who lost their lives in the workplace in 2020 while supporting their families, communities and the state," said DOLIR Director Anna Hui.
During today’s ceremony, Lt. Governor Kehoe presented a proclamation signed by Governor Parson, proclaiming April 28, 2021, as Workers Memorial Day in Missouri, a day to remember and honor Missouri’s fallen workers and resolve to improve workplace safety in Missouri. Each family that lost a loved one in a 2020 Missouri workplace tragedy will receive a signed Workers’ Memorial Day proclamation.
In addition to Lt. Governor Kehoe and Director Hui, special guest speakers during today’s ceremony included OSHA Regional Administrator Kimberly Stille, Missouri Department of Mental Health Director Mark Stringer, Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation Director Colleen Joern Vetter, and Missouri Division of Labor Standards Safety Program Manager Daniel Stark. Each fallen Missouri worker was individually honored during the ceremony. While DOLIR traditionally hosts families of the fallen at an in-person ceremony on Workers’ Memorial Day, because of safety concerns related to the ongoing pandemic this year’s event was held virtually. Thirteen of the 120 workplace deaths in 2020 were COVID-related. In the last five years, 539 individuals lost their lives in Missouri workplaces.
To view this year’s virtual ceremony, visit https://labor.mo.gov/rememberworkers. To help prevent workplace illness, injury, and death, DOLIR offers free safety training to Missouri employers and encourages all businesses to incorporate workplace safety into their everyday tasks. To learn more about the Department's free safety programs visit https://labor.mo.gov/safe-at-work.