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This newsletter highlights events and programs offered through the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

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Department of Labor Honors Fallen Workers

Department of Labor Honors Fallen WorkersThe Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, along with members of the 97th General Assembly, honored 83 workers who lost their lives in the workplace during 2014 at the annual Missouri Workers’ Memorial Ceremony on April 22.

“No person should have to give their life for their job,” said  Missouri Department of Labor Director Ryan McKenna. “Today, we recognized 83 families who laid to rest a father, mother, husband, or wife. Businesses and workers need to work together to ensure no family experiences this loss.”

The Missouri Workers’ Memorial Ceremony is an annual event that began in 2009. It includes tributes to those who so tragically died while performing their jobs and serves as a reminder of the importance to for workplace safety measures.

Speakers at this year’s event included Missouri Department of Labor Director Ryan McKenna, Missouri State Senator Eric Schmitt, Missouri State Senator David Pearce and AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Representative Jacob Hummel.

More than 60 family members gathered in the Capitol Rotunda to remember their loved ones at this year’s event. McKenna presented the Missouri Workers’ Virtual Memorial, a slideshow featuring photographs of the fallen workers with personal messages from their families. Pearce delivered a message of hope and presented each family with a dogwood sapling in honor of their loved one. The Boone County Fire Protection District Pipes and Drums accompanied the presentation with their bagpipe rendition of Amazing Grace, and the Missouri Department of Corrections’ Color Guard presented the national and state flags.

The ceremony is in observance of Workers’ Memorial Day, an annual national day of remembrance that takes place April 28. This day of remembrance has occurred in the United States since 1989.

The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations offers free safety training to Missouri employers and encourages all businesses to incorporate the Workers’ Memorial theme, “Safe Jobs Save Lives”, in their workplace. To learn more about the Department’s free safety programs, visit www.labor.mo.gov/onsite  or call 573-522-SAFE.

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Pacific Company Improves Safety Through SHARP

Pacific Company Improves Safety Through SHARPWhen Husky Corporation Human Resources Manager Joyce Couch opened an edition of Missouri Business Magazine a few years ago, she had no idea its contents would help shape the future of safety at the company’s Pacific factory.

What Couch found in that magazine was an article about the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations’ Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP).

“When you are in a facility, and you look at it all day long, sometimes you aren’t going to see everything that another set of eyes will see,” Couch said. “I think we were about 95 percent there, but they (the On-site Consultants) are the ones who put us up to 100 percent.”

SHARP is designed to honor small businesses that operate effective safety and health management programs.

According to Couch, participation in SHARP was a natural extension of a corporate culture that placed high value on safety already present at Husky. The company makes fuel nozzles, so safety is a priority for its customers, and, with SHARP recognition, it is easy to show that safety concerns do not stop with its products or customers, but extend throughout the company.

Businesses participating in SHARP experience several benefits, including a one to three year exemption from OSHA general inspections, reductions in workers’ compensation insurance premiums and a decrease in workplace injuries.

Couch noted that Husky has seen all of these benefits, including reduced workers’ compensation premiums since starting the program. The company has nearly achieved the lowest experience modification number given—a number that ties directly to workers’ compensation insurance premiums. But, she noted, the benefits to the company do not stop there.

“It’s not just about money,” she said. “It’s also about quality.”

She explained that when workers are injured, they miss work. When workers miss work, someone else is doing their job, and that someone else may not have the same skills and expertise.

Most of all, however, Couch said SHARP is about the employees.  She stressed that the program is for the employees, and it is the employees who made it happen for Husky.

“Our employees are very proud of being SHARP,” she said. “We have the SHARP flag framed in our facility.”

To qualify for SHARP, a business must have 250 employees or less and less than 500 employees corporation wide. The business must work through the Missouri On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Program.

The On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Program is designed for small employers in high hazard industries. During the consultation, Missouri Department of Labor consultants will perform a mock OSHA-type inspection. The results of this inspection are confidential and are not shared with OSHA. The findings are meant to help identify and correct hazards without attaching costly fines, resulting in safer workplaces for employees and better bottom lines for the company.

If you are interested in taking the first steps toward becoming a SHARP company or would like assistance making your company a safer place to work, call 573-522-SAFE or complete the online application to schedule an On-Site Safety and Health consultation.

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MCHR Diversity Spotlights

Older Americans Month

MCHR Diversity Spotlight - Older Americans MonthEach May, we observe Older Americans Month to show our appreciation for the countless contributions and sacrifices older adults make and to shine light on the essential role they play in sharing their experiences, understanding, and knowledge with younger generations in meaningful ways.

The theme for this year's Older Americans Month is “Get Into The Act”. The Administration for Community Living (ACL), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, chose the theme to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Older Americans Act to highlight the benefits of community engagement.   

As the average lifespan increases, so does the number of years the average person works. Many employersrecognize the benefits of hiring older workers and use the skills they bring to the table.

As the state agency charged with enforcing Missouri’s anti-discrimination laws, the Missouri Commission on Human Rights (MCHR)actively investigates complaints of age discrimination (ages 40-69) in the workplace and conducts training and outreach efforts to educate Missouri employees and employers on their rights and responsibilities under the Missouri Human Rights Act.

To learn more about the history of Older Americans Month, or to obtain materials and gather ideas to help your organization celebrate this observance, visit the ACL's website.

Missouri's Silver-Haired Legislature (SHL) is a formally elected body of citizens age 60 and older that promotes conscientious legislative advocacy for Missouri's older adults. SHL elections take place in May across the state. All members are volunteers who serve without pay. To find out more about the SHL or for additional resources on the contributions of older adults in Missouri, visit one of our regional agencies on aging:

Useful information for older Missourians and their families may be found by visiting the following:

  • The Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services provides information on independent living, employment, elder abuse and more.
  • The Missouri Association of Area Agencies on Aging provides older residents details on many subjects including home-delivered meals, fall prevention and wellness programs, rent and utility assistance and support groups.
  • Eldercare Locator connects older adults in need with services. You can search by location or topic, including financial and legal assistance, housing options, health insurance and volunteerism. You can also use this service by calling (800) 677-1116.
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration on Aging has articles and other resources for older adults and their families.

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Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month

Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage MonthMay is also Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. The month-long AAPI tribute originated through 1978 legislation and was expanded in scope more than a decade later by President H.W. Bush’s 1990 presidential proclamation. Subsequent congressional legislation marks the significant dates of May 7, 1943, and May 10, 1969, as the date Japanese immigrants first arrived in the United Sates and the completion date of the transcontinental railroad, respectively. This year’s White House Summit on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders encourages all citizens to “Connect, Share and Mobilize” to honor AAPI heritage.   

The Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA) protects all Missourians from adverse treatment because of their race or ancestry, and the MCHR enforces the MHRA by investigating complaints made by persons who believe they have been discriminated against in employment, housing, or places of public accommodation. If you suspect you have been discriminated against due to your race or other protected category, contact MCHR at 877-781-4236 or take this assessment to determine if the MHRA applies to your situation.
To celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in Missouri:
Kansas City

St. Louis

Springfield

Statewide

To learn more about the history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States:

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