In this Edition... Protecting and Remembering Missouri’s Workforce!

Every April, workplace health and safety advocates all over the world focus on the issue of improving workers' health and safety. This month, Labor Link highlights a ceremony to remember Missouri’s fallen workforce, the benefits available to the families of those who lost their lives on the job, and a conference aimed to improve workplace safety and workers’ compensation knowledge.

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Workers' Memorial Day

Alice Moyer-Wing - First Cabinet Member

Nationwide, thousands of workers lose their lives and millions more are injured because of work-related incidents. Although working conditions have improved over the years, the death toll is still enormous. It’s important to remember that many workplace deaths could be prevented with increased safety measures and emergency plans.

Every year, the Missouri Department of Labor pays tribute to the men and women who lost their lives on the job by coming together with families, friends, colleagues, and legislators.

The Department holds a ceremony in the capitol city to honor the Missouri workers who lost their lives. This year’s Workers’ Memorial Day Ceremony will be held at noon Monday, April 22, 2013, in the Capitol Rotunda. Nationwide, these workers are remembered April 28, Workers' Memorial Day.

The Department plans to commission a memorial to remember Missouri’s fallen workforce and the importance of workplace safety. However, until enough funds are made available to build a physical memorial, a video featuring messages from family members is made to create a virtual memorial to honor the Missouri men and women who went to work and never returned. The 2013 video memorial will be available to the families online.

"He loved life and was everyone's friend," said one Missouri mother about her son. “His smile, kindness, his laugh and his love for his family will always be remembered. He was a hardworking man with so many big dreams. You're forever in our hearths and we miss you so much.”

The Workers’ Memorial Fund was established to create a permanent memorial for all workers who suffered a job-related death or injuries that resulted in a permanent disability while on the job in Missouri. The memorial will be located on the grounds of the state capitol. You can donate a portion of your income tax return to the Workers’ Memorial Fund when filing your taxes. Requests for information and contributions may be made at any time to: Workers’ Memorial Fund, ATTN: Office of Administration, 301 West High Street, Room 570, Jefferson City, MO 65101, or by visiting State of Missouri Workers' Memorial Trust Fund.

You can also join the social conversation with other families who have lost loved ones and "like" the Missouri Workers' Memorial Wall on Facebook. You can post memories and photos of your loved ones and discuss the importance of workplace safety.

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Taking Care of Missouri Families

Lucile Bluford - First Human Rights Commissioner

When someone dies on the job, the effects are devastating to the family left behind. Amid all the decisions to be made, dependents also need to know their rights under the law when it comes to survivor benefits.

Upon the death of an employee who has suffered a compensable work injury, certain surviving individuals may become entitled to benefits. Survivors can claim a benefit after the death of an employee if:

  • The employee dies as a result of the work-related injury
  • The employee is still employable after the work related injury, but suffers a compensable permanent partial disability at work and subsequently dies from a cause unrelated to the work injury
  • The employee suffers permanent total disability from a work related injury and then dies from a cause unrelated to the work injury

Line of Duty Benefits
There are also benefits available for the survivors of firefighters, volunteer firefighters, law enforcement officers, air ambulance pilots, air ambulance registered professional nurses, and emergency medical technicians who are killed in the line of duty if:

  • Death is caused by an accident or willful act of violence of another
  • Individual is in the active performance of his/her duties and there is a relationship between

the accident or act of violence and the performance of the duty, even when off duty

  • Individual is traveling to or from employment, or the individual is taking a meal break or other break while on duty
  • Injury is the cause of the death

In addition to other survivor benefits, a $25,000 death benefit shall be awarded to the estate of the individual killed in the line of duty. You can learn more about the Line of Duty Compensation Act in Section 287.243 RSMo.

Kids’ Chance of Missouri
Kids' Chance of Missouri provides educational scholarships to children of workers seriously injured or killed in work-related accidents. The loss of a parent or primary wage earner in the family may result in a lack of funds available for dependents to attend higher education institutions. Scholarships are based on the needs of children who may not otherwise attain further training to build skills and education toward their career paths. Learn more about Kids' Chance of Missouri.

If you lost a loved one due to a work-related injury and you believe you are entitled to Survivor Benefits, you should contact your loved one’s employer, insurance company, and the Division of Workers’ Compensation Dispute Management Unit.

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Sharing Best Practices as it Relates to Workplace Injury Benefits

Ruth Ann Kuntz - First Woman Miner

Each year, the Division of Workers’ Compensation hosts a conference for employers and those interested in learning more about the issues surrounding workers’ compensation. The 19th Annual Missouri Issues in Workers’ Compensation Conference will be held June 10-11, 2013, at the Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach, Mo.

This year’s agenda includes more than 20 sessions on important issues including workplace safety, ergonomics, fraud management, Workers’ Compensation Law, and economic concerns. These sessions will be led by more than 25 workers’ compensation experts. A new session topic will be "How good customer service can prevent lawsuits." Continuing Legal Education Credits will be granted by the Missouri Bar for attorneys when attending the conference.

There will also be a golf tournament benefitting Kids’ Chance of Missouri, an organization that provides educational scholarships to the children of workers seriously injured or killed in work-related accidents. The tournament will be a four-person scramble, with the cost being $50 per individual and $200 for a foursome. You can get more information or send registration to: KIDS' CHANCE Inc. of Missouri, P.O. Box 410384, St. Louis, MO 63141.

New this year: OSHA 10 Training will be offered during the conference. The OSHA 10 Training is required for construction workers on public works projects and is great basic training for workers. The training allows participants to review and learn to avoid construction hazards and injuries.

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