By Jasmine Otam
At a special ceremony at the Statehouse Thursday, families mourned the loss of loved ones who died while at work.
“This year we are honoring the lives of 171 Hoosiers tragically killed on the job,” said Brett Voorhies, president of the Indiana State AFL-CIO.
Local union leaders, coworkers and family members of fallen workers gathered in the rotunda for the ceremony on Workers Memorial Day.
The day was first observed 27 years ago on April 28 in recognition of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which sets and enforces protective workplace safety and health standards by providing information, training and assistance to workers and employers.
“Today these 171 Hoosiers and the thousands of other victims of workplace injury or death will get far too little attention by a world they had a hand in creating,” said Voorhies.
The Indiana State AFL-CIO is a federation of local unions across the state that seeks to protect, maintain and advance the working conditions of Hoosier union workers.
“Every year on April the 28th, unions of the AFL-CIO observe Workers’ Memorial Day to remember those who have been injured or killed on the job, and renew our struggle for safe work places,” Voorhies said.
The organization hosted this ceremony with the help of other state government entities, like the Worker’s Compensation Board.
Linda Peterson Hamilton, chairwoman of the Worker’s Compensation Board, spoke at Thursday’s event to inform the families in attendance about the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Act, their rights as surviving dependents and what the act covers.
The ceremony continued with the names of the 171 workers who lost their lives being read aloud, and ended with the Memorial Wreath being placed at the site of the Workers Memorial located outside of the Indiana Government Center.