Columbus, OH – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine recently joined the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) to honor 137 Ohioans who died as a result of a workplace illness or accident.
In a tribute that was also broadcast on The Ohio Channel August 31st, BWC Administrator/CEO John Logue led the agency’s 13th annual Fallen Workers Memorial from BWC headquarters in downtown Columbus.
“While it is important for us to mourn, it is equally vital for us to use this memorial as a chance to celebrate and remember the lives of Ohio’s fallen workers,” said Administrator Logue. “At BWC, it is our goal to work with employers to improve workplace safety, and to minimize any injuries or deaths to Ohio’s workforce.”
Administrator Logue opened the program with a video message from Governor DeWine, who said, “The safety of every Ohioan in every job in every corner of the state is so very important. Worker safety has always been and will continue to be a top priority, and we will continue that mission.”
Also participating in the ceremony were BWC Board of Directors Chairman Chan Cochran, board members Terry Joyce and Peggy Griffith, Ohio Industrial Commission (IC) Chairman Jim Hughes, Ohio AFL/CIO President Tim Burga, and Adam Sharp, Executive Vice President of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.
“In Ohio, we are blessed with hard-working citizens who sacrifice each and every day to make our state the best in this great nation,” said IC Chairman Hughes. “Sadly, tragedy strikes from time to time, and we lose one of our fellow Ohioans to an employment-related accident. While nothing can replace these fallen workers in the lives of their loved ones, it is important that we come together and honor these individuals and the sacrifices they and their families have made, as well as their contributions to our society.”
“We are grateful that BWC pays tribute to those who do the work and make our state go every day. This Fallen Workers’ Memorial we ring the bell for 137 workers and honor the incredible sacrifices each has made by doing their job for the betterment of their families and society,” said Ohio AFL-CIO President Burga. “This memorial also serves as a reminder for business, labor, and lawmakers to renew our collective commitment to workplace safety, so our loved ones return home alive and well at the end of their workday.”
Sharp, of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, said “It is an honor to take part in this event to offer compassion and gratitude for the sacrifices Ohio’s fallen workers have made, but this is not where our efforts end. It is all our responsibility to develop a safer environment for ourselves and those around us. BWC and partners like the Ohio Farm Bureau are driven to continue to work together to prevent future accidents from happening with improvements to the health and safety of Ohio’s workplaces.”
The names of the fallen were read by Freddie Johnson, BWC’s chief of medical services, and BWC employees Kelly Hopkins and Brandon Freeman.
BWC Board Director Joyce 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 2023 roll of the fallen includes 71 allowed claims with dates of death in the last policy year (7/1/22-6/30/23), as well as 66 allowed claims with dates of death that fell within the past several policy years and were not included in previous memorials.
Source: Ohio BWC