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Weekend of remembrance for Iowa workers killed on the job

Every year, the Iowa Federation of Labor remembers those workers in the state who have died in the line of work. Some might question the necessity of such an action, but the federation president Ken Sagar says it's a fitting tribute. He observes that despite all the efforts to raise workplace safety awareness, too many people still wind up dying every year from injuries suffered on the job.

For those who are hurt at work, workers' compensation is meant to serve as the resource for recovery and a return to work. The process of seeking and obtaining the full measure of compensation can often leave the applicant stymied, however, unless they have the help of an experienced attorney. If the accident results in the death of a loved one, the search for accountability can be even more difficult.

This year, the Workers Memorial Day observances are opening today and are running through Monday. 

The weekend of ceremonies is intended to coincide with the anniversary of when the Occupational Safety and Health Administration was created in 1971.

According to Sagar, 61 Iowans were killed in the course of their work last year. That includes one Iowan who died serving in the military. He says services are slated to be held in cities across the state, including Cedar Rapids, Dubuque and Des Moines. All are open to the public.

Sagar says many are expected to attract elected officials seeking to show their commitments to making sure that workplace safety efforts are maintained. In Sagar's words, "We're gathering together to try to give honor to those people who went to work for a living and didn't make it home."

To learn where a Workers Memorial Day event may be happening near you, readers are invited to visit the Iowa Federation of Labor website at

Source: Radio Iowa, "Ceremony remembers fallen workers," April 25, 2014

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