April 28th was Workers’ Memorial Day which remembers workers that died or suffered a serious work injury. However, due to COVID19 the usual ceremonies that happen internationally are cancelled. In 2019 alone, 98 workers in Washington State lost their lives to industrial injuries or occupational diseases. According to the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I), 43 of these fallen workers passed after fighting long battles with occupational illness.
Future outlook and work injury matters
Unfortunately, 2020 is not off to a good start with already 11 fatalities from workplace injuries. Worker Memorial Day serves as a solemn reminder that going to work can be dangerous. Sometimes, it can also be deadly. Accidents do happen at work. But we must remain committed to increasing workplace safety to protect the health of our workers.
In our office, we always work hard to achieve the “optimal outcome” for every work injury claimant. I think we can all agree that death is the absolute least optimal outcome. Therefore, it’s important that we continue to support the health of our workers’ compensation system because it helps so many families. The workers’ compensation system assists injured or deceased workers and their families after these catastrophes happen.
Work safety and the ongoing fight
In short, the workers’ compensation system isn’t perfect. Many aspects of the system require improvement. To make matters worse, there are groups, people, and organizations that seek to limit workers’ compensation coverage. Putting profit over people is not the solution.
Regardless, it’s crucial for us to continue and protect the system from those who don’t have the best interest of workers in mind. As tedious as our job may be, I’m proud that we continue to fight for those who suffer from work injuries and cannot fight for themselves. We will also continue to fight to increase safety and for the rights that every human deserves. Workers’ Memorial Day may have come and gone. But those affected by work injuries are not forgotten.