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Annual memorial service honors Ohio fallen workers


Sept. 2, 2021

COLUMBUS – The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) today paid tribute to 114* Ohioans who died as a result of a workplace illness or accident.

BWC Chief of Strategy John Logue who led the annual Fallen Workers Memorial said, “We stand here today to honor Ohioans who lost their lives in service to their employers, families and communities. We solemnly acknowledge their passing, but we also want to remember them as they were – people just like us who worked hard, laughed and loved, and created a life filled with momentous occasion, memorable milestones, and simple pleasures.”

Also participating in the ceremony were BWC Board of Directors Chairman Chan Cochran, board member Michael P. Taylor, board member Peggy Griffith, Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga, Ohio Chamber of Commerce President Steve Stivers, and Ohio Industrial Commission Executive Director Tim Adams.

“It is working people that move our state forward every day, in every way, and today we honor those that lost their lives doing their job,” said Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga. “Let us remember our fallen sisters and brothers, offer our prayers and condolences to the families, and call on those in power to fulfill the promise of safe jobs for all and to ensure the delivery of care and benefits to those in need.”

“The Fallen Workers Memorial is a solemn and significant occasion to honor the men and women of the State of Ohio whose heartbreaking loss of life acts as a vital reminder to the importance of worker safety,” Ohio Industrial Commission Executive Director Tim Adams said. “It is imperative that our state remembers these fallen workers by remaining dedicated to enhancing the safety of each and every Ohioan’s work environment.”

“Any loss of life is tragic, but especially those deaths that are unexpected and lives that are cut short too soon,” Ohio Chamber of Commerce President Steve Stivers said. “To the families and loved ones of those who we lost in 2021, please know that you have our heartfelt condolences. I have always said one of the biggest advantages that Ohio has is its outstanding workforce. Ohioans are skilled, hard-working and willing to go the extra mile for their employers. But, as state leaders we also need to go the extra mile to protect those workers to ensure they can earn a paycheck and return safely home to their families.”

The names of the fallen were read by Freddie Johnson, BWC’s chief of medical services, and BWC employees Kelly Hopkins, SEIU Local 1199 Delegate, and Felichia Richardson, OCSEA Delegate.

Taylor ended the ceremony with three tolls of BWC’s Memorial Bell.

Names of the fallen workers are available here.

Today’s ceremony was aired on The Ohio Channel and will be available soon in the channel’s archives.

*Each year the ceremony honors those workers whose death claims were approved by the bureau since the previous ceremony. The 2021 roll of the fallen includes 60 workers with dates of death in the last policy year (7/1/20-6/30/21), as well as 54 workers with dates of death that fell within the filing period and were not included in previous memorials.


Media Contacts:

Kim Norris, 614-728-8045 or 614-361-0202, kimberly.norris@bwc.state.oh.us

Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation

Vision: To transform BWC into an agile organization driven by customer success.

Mission: To deliver consistently excellent experiences for each BWC customer every day.

Core Values: One Agency, Personal Connection, Innovative Leadership, Relentless Excellence.

Established in 1912, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation is the exclusive provider of workers’ compensation insurance in Ohio and serves 249,000 public and private employers. With nearly 1,700 employees and assets of approximately $25 billion, BWC is one of the largest state-run insurance systems in the United States. For more, visit www.bwc.ohio.gov.