After worker's heat stress death, family takes action
The family of a construction worker who died on the job last year was honored recently for their safety activism in the wake of his death.
At the National Conference on Worker Safety and Health (#COSHCON16) just outside Baltimore, Maryland, The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH) recognized the sister and father of Roendy Granillo, who died from heat exhaustion during a heat wave in Dallas in July, 2015.
Family campaigned for change
Following Roendy’s death, his sister Jasmine and father Gustvao led a campaign to win a new ordinance guaranteeing the right to rest breaks for construction workers. The new law passed the Dallas City Council in December 2015, less than six months after Roendy died on the job.
“My son is in heaven now,” Gustavo told attendees at #COSHCON16. “I’m sure he is happy to know other workers will not have to suffer the same way he did.”
More than 250 family members, union safety representatives, members of COSH groups and workers’ centers and occupational safety and health professionals attended the conference, which focused on the need for better safety protections for U.S. workers.
Each year, more than 4,500 U.S. workers die at work due to traumatic events, and up to 100,000 more lose their lives from occupational diseases caused by long-term workplace exposures.
Also recognized by National COSH:
- Jordan Barab, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health: Lifetime Achievement Award.
- Lee Clark, Special Assistant to the President of Local 1549, District Council 37, AFSCME: Tony Mazzochi Award, named for the legendary health and safety activist who helped pass the original OSH Act.
- Randy Rodriguez, Occupational Safety and Health Committee Chair, CWA Local 6222, Houston Texas: Health and Safety Trainer Award.
- Nicole Marquez and Jora Trang, Worksafe: Social Justice Award.