On Workers Memorial, Pennsylvania Calls on Employers and Legislators to Strengthen Worker Protections

Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Nancy A. Walker joined Harrisburg labor leaders to renew the labor movement’s decades-long fight for safer workplaces and advocate for policies that protect Pennsylvania workers from being harmed on the job. Every April, Workers Memorial Day marks the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), which strengthened workplace safety protections nationwide more than 50 years ago.

“Workplace safety thrives best under effective labor law enforcement, and we need more resources at L&I to ensure that all Pennsylvania workers have the benefit of our watchdog role — especially on the issues of worker misclassification and child labor, two areas where unethical employers motivated by profit are increasingly exploiting the vulnerable,” Secretary Walker said. “L&I labor law investigators hold employers accountable to our labor laws – and catch violations before they escalate into tragedies.”

The AFL-CIO estimates that each day more than 340 workers are killed and more than 6,000 suffer injury and illness because of dangerous working conditions that are preventable. Each year, the Harrisburg Region Central Labor Council (HCLC) gathers at a Riverfront Park workers’ memorial near the Susquehanna River to honor lives lost and advocate for safer workplaces.

Private workplace safety standards are governed at the federal level by OSHA. Resources for workers are available on OSHA’s website, including a toll-free line to confidentially report a workplace health or safety issue. The phone number is 1-800-321-6742.