FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IR #2006-17
Monday, April 28, 2006

CONTACT:
Dean Fryer
415-703-5050
Internet: http://www.dir.ca.gov


Governor Schwarzenegger proclaims April 28, 2006 Workers' Memorial Day

San Francisco -Governor Schwarzenegger has proclaimed April 28, 2006 as Workers' Memorial Day -- a time to reflect and remember the courage and integrity of America's workers.

"Job safety is the responsibility of every employer and the right of every employee," said John Rea, acting director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). "Prevention is key and our Division of Occupational Safety and Health is diligently working with various employer groups to ensure a safe and healthy workplace."

Despite the fact that fatality rates have dropped 35 percent since1992, data from the Division of Labor Statistics and Research (DLSR) shows that in 2004 every 21 hours a California employee died on the job.

Still, the best prevention comes from labor and management working together on the job to identify hazards, provide training and correct unsafe conditions.

Enforcement is the other component to workplace safety standards. In response, the California Labor & Workforce Development Agency created the Economic & Employment Enforcement Coalition, a multi-agency coalition that includes DIR's Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA). This coalition leverages its resources collectively to target underground economy businesses that violate California's laws, including workplace safety and health laws and regulations.

California's underground economy threatens vital industries, exposes both young and seasoned workers to greater workplace risks, drives down wages, and undercuts legitimate businesses with reduced operating costs. The health and safety of California's workforce is the primary concern of Cal/OSHA. To help promote safety awareness in the workplace, CalOSHA offers free consultation assistance and workshops to California businesses to help keep their workplace environment free from hazard, and to protect their workers from safety and health issues.

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 www.dir.ca.gov/dosh

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