Celeste Monforton Testifies in House
April 28, 2010 - Celeste Monforton, DrPH, MPH spent Workers Memorial Day, April 28th, highlighting the role of workers’ family members in occupational health and safety. On the morning of Workers Memorial Day, she testified at the House Education & Labor Committee’s Workforce Protections Subcommittee hearing, “Whistleblower and Victims Rights provisions of HR 2067, the Protecting America’s Workers Act.” In her testimony, Dr. Monforton spoke about her experience serving on the team investigating the Sago Mine Disaster for the state of West Virginia; she found that the family members of the miners who were killed in that disaster made important contributions to the investigation and the push for improved mine safety that followed the deadly mine explosion. She praised provisions in HR 2067 that would give family members of workers killed on the job more opportunities to participate in investigations, and recommended additional ways the legislation could advance family-member victims’ rights.
Dr. Monforton also worked with the organization United Support and Memorial for Workplace Fatalities (USMWF) to bring to DC family members who had lost loved ones to workplace disasters. USMWF members traveled from Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and West Virginia to put faces on the statistics of workplace deaths. Dr. Monforton organized a meeting for several of the family members with Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis. The family members also gathered, along with other supporters of worker health and safety, for an event on the steps of the Department of Labor building to memorialize workers who have been killed on the job. Photos and more about Workers Memorial Day 2010 are available at The Pump Handle blog.