We Remember Those We Lost

June 22, 2020

Every month as part of our newsletter, we take a moment to name and remember those who we lost as a result of a workplace injury or illness the previous month. These individuals who went to work never to return home to their families serve as powerful reminders of why MassCOSH exists and our need to fight for safer work.  

The pandemic has put millions of workers at risk of getting COVID-19, many of whom have been exposed to the virus without proper health and safety protections.  However, four months into the pandemic, we do not know how many people have been infected with COVID-19 as a result of workplace exposure in Massachusetts. That's because the MA Department of Public Health has failed to collect data on the employer, occupation, and industry of people with COVID-19 during the pandemic.

By tracking this information, we can better understand and protect workers that have been most impacted by the virus.  It will also help show “work-relatedness” allowing workers who become ill (or their families in the tragic event they die) get the workers' compensation benefits they deserve.
MassCOSH remains hard at work advocating that the State track this information as part of official data collection.  In the meantime, we are partnering with our Union and Worker Center partners to gather our own information about COVID-19 cases among their members. Thankfully, many Unions and Worker Centers have collected their own data which can be compiled to create a clearer picture of the impact of COVID-19 on Massachusetts workers. We are also gathering information on any workers who died from COVID-19 so that we can include them in our annual Worker Memorial Day ceremony and Dying for Work report.  For more information on this project please contact Ben Weilerstein at ben.w@masscosh.org.