IR #2009-12
April 28, 2009

Dean Fryer
(415) 703-5050


Governor Schwarzenegger proclaims April 28, 2009 Workers' Memorial Day

San Francisco –April 28—Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proclaimed April 28, 2009 as Workers' Memorial Day as a time to reflect and remember the courage and integrity of California's workers. 

“Workers from a spectrum of industries have contributed greatly to make California a thriving and prosperous state,” said John C. Duncan, Director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR).  “Today we will honor workers and especially those who have died or been injured on the job.”

“Prevention is the key component to workplace safety and DIR is committed to working with employers to make sure they are in full compliance of safety and health standards,” added Duncan.

Workers' Memorial Day was established in 1992 and was later codified in the California Labor Code. It is designed to be a remembrance day for California workers and to be observed in an appropriate manner.

California has worked diligently since 1911 when the first Industrial Accident Board was formed, to assure safe and healthful working conditions for employees.  Since 1973 California has operated its own federally monitored safety and health program, the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (CalOSHA). 

Over the past 32 years, Cal/OSHA has created many innovative programs to improve occupational safety and health, such as employer consultation services, the Illness and Injury Prevention Program and the California Voluntary Protection Program to protect workers from being injured.

Under California law, all employees are required to have an Injury and Illness Prevention Program to safeguard their employees from getting hurt in the workplace. Key features of the programs are cooperation among employers and employees, who together design the actions they will take to protect workers in every area of the workplace.

As part of Cal/OSHA, the Consultation Unit provides free assistance to employers and workers about workplace safety and health issues through on-site visits and evaluations, high hazard consultation and special emphasis programs. It also provides a wide variety of educational materials on workplace safety and health topics.

The Consultation Unit can be reached by calling (800) 963-9424. Or, for more information, please visit our website at

DIR encourages business owners and workers this Workers' Memorial Day to identify and correct any health or safety hazards. For more information on Cal/OSHA's consultation services, please visit our website at    

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