Factory and plant workers in Pennsylvania and across the country face a potentially dangerous work environment every day. Even though fatalities have dropped and injury rates have improved in most industries, the workers at a shutdown steel plant at Sparrows Point, Maryland, think it is important to remember those workers who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Last year, the steel plant was shut down, and now, the United Steelworkers Local 9477 union has closed its doors. A monument to all the workers who gave their lives on the job at the plant since 1947 stood directly in front of the union building. The monument contains more than 100 names, and, if records had been kept prior to 1947, many more names would be on the memorial stone. In the early 1900s, when accidents were more common, the plant maintained a streetcar dedicated to taking dead workers to the morgue.
In addition, the monument does not contain the names of those who died from other job-related illnesses such as diseases contracted from breathing asbestos in the factory’s air. Recently, safety records improved with the factory sustaining a 12-year period of no deaths from the 1996 until 2008. As an ongoing reminder to job-related hazards and in memory of those who lost their lives on the job, the monument was moved to Dundalk Heritage Park.
When any industrial worker has been injured on the job, the injured worker has the right to seek compensation. An attorney who is knowledgeable in the laws regarding factory accidents may be able to assist the worker with filing the compensation claims that will help the worker support his or her family.
Source: Baltimore Sun, “Monument to Sparrows Point’s casualties lives on at new home”, Jamie Smith Hopkins, September 15, 2013