On Workers' Memorial Day, CWA Remembers Workers Killed on the Job

This Workers' Memorial Day, April 28, and every day, CWA is on the front lines in the fight to protect safety and health standards and ensure that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducts the inspections and oversight that workers deserve.

In 2017, 275 workers died each day due to job injuries and illnesses, on average, according to a report released this week by the AFL-CIO. 5,147 workers lost their lives on the job as a result of traumatic injuries, according to fatality data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This does not include those workers who die from occupational diseases, estimated to be 95,000 each year. 

The report, titled Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect, shows the highest workplace fatality rates are in Alaska, North Dakota, Wyoming, West Virginia, and South Dakota.

With the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress working with corporate lobbyists to weaken workplace protections, the work of CWA members fighting on the front lines to improve, maintain, and promote safety at work is more important than ever. 

CWA especially remembers these members and others who were killed on the job over the past year: 

Anthony Edwards, 51, a member of CWA Local 3204 in Atlanta, died in an on-the-job automobile accident.

Timothy Jason Lowery, 41, a member of CWA Local 3218 in Marietta died in an on-the-job automobile accident when another vehicle crossed the centerline and caused a head-on collision.

Stephen Jamar Shanks, 26, a member of IUE-CWA Local 84693 in Selma, Ala., suffered fatal burns to his hand, face, neck, and legs in a workplace explosion caused by a molten silicon spill.

Steven B. Herring, 55, a member of IUE-CWA Local 83761 in Louisville, was pinned by a metal fixture that holds foam installation on an assembly line that builds refrigerators and died of his injuries.

Jay Handley, 57, a member of CWA Local 13000 in St. Clair, Pa., died of a heart attack while at work.

Gale Giles, a member of CWA Local 4050 in Warren, Mich., died in an accident in a company vehicle. 

Kenneth Vick, 60, a member of CWA Local 3250 in Norcross, Ga., passed away in a conference room at work on his break at 2:15 p.m. and was not found until the next day at 2 a.m.

Georges Armand, 61, an Envoy bus driver at Miami International Airport suffered a fatal heart attack in the employee break room. Excessive overtime may have contributed to his death.

Gerald Fischman, 61, Rob Hiaasen, 59, John McNamara, 56, Rebecca Smith, 34, and Wendi Winters, 65, were killed when a mass shooting occurred at the offices of The Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Md. The newsroom was in its early organizing stages with The NewsGuild-CWA at the time of the shooting and was certified as a unit of TNG-CWA in December.