Mock Funeral Gives US Lawmakers a Message

OHS NewsA mock funeral procession was recently held in L.A. as part of a “memorial day” rally honoring workers injured or killed in the workplace each year.

The event was reported in the LA Times newspaper as a way to bring awareness of worker fatalities and injuries across the United States.

Southern California Coalition for Occupational Safety, a nonprofit group, had the idea for the mock funeral to urge passage of stronger state and federal occupational safety laws.

Worker safety has been in the news with the recent deaths of 29 people in a West Virginia coal mine and the explosion of an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico that left 11 missing. But in the US most occupational deaths receive little notice. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, thousands of U.S. workers are injured or killed on the job each year as a result of “preventable incidents.”

On the day, a flower-bedecked altar set up outside the labor center paid tribute to a number of fallen workers, and displayed snapshots and brief biographies.

Vehicles in the mock procession proceeded from MacArthur Park on an almost four-mile route through central Los Angeles, with posters written in English and Spanish conveying messages such as “No job is worth more than our lives” and “Remember the dead — fight for the living.”

Do you think would work here in Australia – a mock funeral procession down our Ann Streets, Collins Streets or even George Streets?  A mock funeral to show how big an impact a workers death can have on family and the community. OHS in Australia is covered by state laws that are a lot stricter than those in the US, but even these laws will not prevent accidents and deaths at work without widespread culture of compliance from the CEO down to the shop floor.

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About the Author

Joanne Wallace is our resident "Safety Guru". Joanne has provided advice on safety management for the past 10 years and written hundreds of articles on safety issues and tips. Joanne has experience in many industries ranging from manufacturing, food processing, timber milling, retail, office and wholesaling providing her with knowledge and experience managing risk and injuries in these industries.

Comments (3)

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  1. Cyril Fegan says:

    Any publicity to increase awareness about Occupational Safety and Health issues should be lauded and supported.

  2. Brenda says:

    Even if it only saves one life, it is absolutely worth doing & I think it willhave an impact on people.

  3. Lateisha says:

    There’s nothing like the relief of finding what you’re looking for.

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