Today (April 28) is Workers Memorial Day, a day of remembrance for workers killed, disabled or injured at work. It’s a day well suited to take a look at two organizations helping families of those killed and injured.
Ron and Dotty Hayes of Fairhope, AL, started Families in Grief Hold Together (F.I.G.H.T.) after their son died in a 1993 workplace incident.
Patrick Hayes, 19, was working in a grain silo — his first day on a job for which he hadn’t been trained — when he suffocated under 60 tons of corn.
In their grief, the Hayeses sought information about their son’s death from local, state and federal authorities for two years without getting many answers.
According to their Facebook page, that’s when it became clear to the Hayeses that the only way to deal with their grief was to learn everything they could about workplace safety, and help other families in similar situations.
F.I.G.H.T. is dedicated to helping families and workers deal with the consequences of fatalities and injuries. It’s their way of honoring their son.
Ron Hayes believes his efforts have also helped influence revisions in OSHA’s grain-handling standards.
Another organization, the United Support and Memorial for Workplace Fatalities (USMWF), offers support, resources and advocacy to people affected by preventable work-related deaths or serious injuries.
It also personalizes workplace fatalities with its Faces campaign.
We’ve all heard the numbers: 14 U.S. workers are killed on the job every day. More than 4,000 are killed each year.
The Faces campaign takes those statistics and puts a human face on them through its website.
USMWF also tracks recent workplace deaths through its website Weekly Toll.