Columbus, OH – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine recently joined the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) to honor 143 Ohioans who died as a result of a workplace illness or accident.
In a pre-recorded tribute that debuted on The Ohio Channel, BWC Administrator/CEO Stephanie McCloud led her agency’s 10th annual Fallen Workers Memorial from BWC headquarters in downtown Columbus.
“We are here today to mourn, but also to honor the men and women who lost their lives in service to their employers, families, and communities,” said Administrator McCloud. “Losing a loved one who simply went to work to support themselves and their family is an unspeakable tragedy – one that irrevocably changes many lives.”
Administrator McCloud opened the program with a videotaped message from Governor DeWine, who said, “Our administration remains committed to workplace safety now and into the future. Right now, let’s pause, let’s remember, let’s honor those we’ve lost.”
Also participating in the ceremony were BWC Board of Directors Chairman Chan Cochran, board members Michael P. Taylor and Peggy Griffith, Ohio Industrial Commission Chairman Jim Hughes, and President of the Ohio Contractors Association Chris Runyan.
“Our great state of Ohio has made tremendous strides in improving workplace safety for our workers, but we must continue that momentum,” said IC Chairman Hughes. “The effort is worth it because Ohio’s men and women make important sacrifices every day to provide for their families and serve their employers, communities and the great state of Ohio. Our fallen workers made the greatest sacrifice for each of us.”
Runyan, of the contractors association, directed his comments to the fallen workers’ survivors.
“Our hope in recognizing your loss today is that you feel the support of so many that grieve with you and that recognize the painful thoughts, emotions and life circumstances that you are now living with,” he said. “Hold close the happiness you shared with your loved ones and allow them to live on fondly in your memory.”
The names of the fallen were read by Freddie Johnson, BWC’s chief of medical services, and BWC employees Kelly Hopkins, SEIU Local 1199 Delegate, and Tia Valentine, OCSEA Delegate.
BWC Board Director Taylor ended the ceremony with three tolls of BWC’s Memorial Bell.
Please note: This ceremony honors workers whose death claims were approved since the previous year’s ceremony. The 2020 roll of the fallen includes 52 allowed claims with dates of death in the last policy year (7/1/19-6/30/20), as well as 91 allowed claims with dates of death that fell within the past several policy years and were not included in previous memorials.
Source: Ohio BWC