FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IR #2007-19
Friday, April 27, 2007

CONTACT:
Dean Fryer
(415) 703-5050


Governor Schwarzenegger proclaims April 28, 2007 Workers' Memorial Day
San Francisco

San Francisco - Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has proclaimed April 28, 2007 as Workers' Memorial Day -- a time to reflect and remember the courage and integrity of California's workers.

"I encourage business owners and workers this Workers' Memorial Day to identify and correct any health or safety hazards at their job sites," said John Rea, acting director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). "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."

Training is the best preventative measure and number one component of workplace safety. Not only do adult workers benefit from training but a recent nationwide study revealed that teen workers are exposed to many hazards due to inadequate training and lack of supervision on the job. According to the study, 12 percent of all fatally injured workers are in the age range of 15 to 17 years old-a tragic result.

Enforcement is another component to workplace safety. In 2005, Governor Schwarzenegger 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, 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," said Rea. "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 hazards, 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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