Officially, Memorial Day does not take place until the end of the month. That didn’t stop representatives from an Illinois labor union from holding a memorial ceremony recently to honor those workers who were killed in accidents on the job. They said some of the honorees had waited long enough to receive the recognition they deserved.
The memorial was held in an Illinois courthouse. The names of two men, both who died in the 70s, were read publicly and will now be included on a local monument that honors people who died while working. The monument currently displays more than 100 names, all representing workplace fatalities.
The criteria for putting a name on the monument is fairly straightforward. If a person lived in the county in which it is located, and died while on the job, he or she is eligible for inclusion. People who live in other counties, but died in the county containing the monument, are also eligible to have their name memorialized there.
In 2012, the most recent year for which these statistics are available, 145 people died while on the job in Illinois. The state ranks 11th nationwide for workplace fatalities, with an average of just over 2 deaths for every 100,000 employees, according to reports. Labor officials say even that small number is too many.
The people whose loved ones’ names are listed on the commemorative monument for workers who were killed in accidents on the job would surely agree with that assessment. Many of them could still be in mourning and wondering how they can possibly move forward. For them, workers’ compensation death benefits could be a viable solution that offers at least some small measure of comfort by helping to compensate for their unthinkable loss.
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