On Workers Memorial Day, April 28, Nurses Vow to Keep Fighting for The Highest Level of Protections

On April 28, 1971, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, governing workers’ right to a healthy and safe workplace, went into effect. April 28 is now an annual Workers Memorial Day, when we remember those who have been injured, or who have lost their lives, on the job. It’s a day when we underscore the need to ensure comprehensive, mandatory protections for workers.

National Nurses United has fought—and continues to lead the fight—for nurses’ health and safety. We have celebrated victories in recent years, including passing nation-leading workplace violence legislation and regulations in California and successfully petitioning federal OSHA to enact this standard nationally.

While celebrating these wins, the losses we have mourned on the way to enacting better protections are never far from our hearts, including our sister Cynthia Palomata, RN, who died in 2010 when a patient struck her in the head. We will always stand up and keep fighting for RNs like Brandy Welch, who suffered a permanent injury when a patient threw a chair at her in 2013.

On Workers Memorial Day, we pay homage to all of the nurses and other workers whose stories highlight the importance of standing up—strong, loud, and as long as necessary—to secure the highest level of protections to keep workers safe. We also renew our commitment to continue:

  • Protecting nurses across America by moving forward a federal, comprehensive OSHA workplace violence standard.
  • Standing up for national safe staffing ratios.
  • Fighting for safe patient handling regulations, in an industry with extremely high rates of musculoskeletal injuries.
  • Ensuring nurses’ right to organize and to advocate collectively for the health and safety of nurses and patients.
  • Prohibiting employer policies and practices which discourage nurses from reporting workplace hazards and injuries.
  • Standing in solidarity with workers in other industries, as they fight for their own workplace protections.

Let the world know that nurses stand for safe jobs. Click here for a shareable Workers Memorial Day graphic!