The Construction Business Group and Wisconsin Building Trades Council (WBTC) on Monday announced the 7th Annual Construction Workers’ Memorial Service on Thursday in Madison. The day before Workers Memorial Day, the memorial will help honor for construction workers who died this past year due to work-related injuries. Community members will be able to pay tribute to men and women who died in work-related construction accidents across the state.
The event begins at 3:30 p.m. with a Hard Hat Processional from the Monona Terrace and ends six blocks away at St. Patrick’s Church. The service will be held at 4 p.m. at the church, WBTC officials said.
Thursday’s event is part of Workers Memorial Day to honor people who died in work-related incidents or diseases caused by work, officials noted. Workers Memorial Day will be held on Friday.
While safety for workers has advanced over the past half-century, construction workers still die by the thousands every year, WBTC Executive Director Emily Pritzkow said.
“While worker safety has advanced greatly over the last 50 years, every year thousands of our brothers and sisters lose their lives while working to build and advance our nation. It’s imperative for all of us to not only remember those we have lost but to work towards a day when every worker goes home after every shift,” Pritzkow said in a statement.
In 2021, there were 2,474 fatal workplace injuries in both transportation and construction occupations across the U.S., making construction one of the industries most impacted by workplace fatalities, WBTC officials noted. There was a total of 5,190 fatal injuries across all job sectors in the U.S. that same year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.
“On this day of remembrance, we not only pay tribute to those we have lost, but also use this as an opportunity to recommit ourselves, both as members of management and labor, to continue to work to enhance the safety of our state’s jobsites,” Executive Director of the Construction Business Group Robb Kahl said in a statement.
Workers Memorial Day marks the anniversary of when the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created. Since OSHA’s inception in 1970, an average of 15 workers per day are killed while at work and the day recognizes this despite advances in health and safety standards and enforcement.
There was a total of 5,190 fatal injuries across all job sectors in the U.S. in 2021, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Of those deaths, 105 of them were Wisconsinites.