Friday, August 17, 2007

Triumph Over Tragedy

Kevin is always faithful about sending us Oregon's deadline and award winners. I really love getting this because as often as we here about what is wrong with OSHA (not excluding myself) there are many in the organization who truly take their work at heart and do the best job they can. These individuals our some of our hero's because in the mix of it all they are working for us against the odds.

Department of Consumer and Business Services
Salem, Oregon

For immediate release: August 7, 2007

Workers' Memorial Scholarships awarded for 2007
An opportunity to triumph over tragedy

Most of us growing up take for granted that our parent or guardian will
return home safe and sound from their job each day. Advances in
workplace safety and health in Oregon have reduced workplace deaths by
three-quarters in the past 35 years. Still, dozens of children each year
in Oregon must cope with a parent being taken from their lives through a
workplace death.

An Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services program provides
an opportunity to help surviving family members reach their educational
goals. Three Oregon students were awarded Workers' Memorial Scholarship
awards today for the 2007-2008 academic year, presented by the
department's Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA).

The award recipients are:

* Jillian Becker of Molalla. Becker is beginning work on her master's
degree in education this fall at Albertson College in Caldwell, Idaho,
where she received her bachelor's degree this year.

Becker graduated from Molalla Union High School in 2003 and attended
Clackamas Community College. Becker's father died in October 2003 as the
result of overexposure to toxic substances during thermal spray welding.
Becker is a three-time recipient of a Workers' Memorial Scholarship.
($3,750 award)

* Sharon Ferguson of Coos Bay. Ferguson plans to study nursing as she
enters Oregon Health and Sciences University this fall. Her ultimate
goals following medical education include working as a family nurse
practitioner and midwife.

Ferguson is a 2007 graduate of Marshfield High School. Ferguson's
father was killed in a 1989 logging accident. This is Ferguson's first
Workers' Memorial Scholarship award. ($7,500 award)

* Annette Smith of Eugene. Smith is entering the University of Oregon
Law School this fall after receiving her bachelor's degree from UO in

Smith is a 2003 graduate of North Eugene High School, and became the
first person in her immediate family to attend college. Smith's father
died in a logging accident in 1985 when she was 3 months old. She is a
three-time recipient of a Workers' Memorial Scholarship. ($3,750 award)

Award recommendations are made by Oregon OSHA's Safe Employment
Education and Training Advisory Committee, an advisory group with
members from business, organized labor, and government. Oregon OSHA
presents the awards annually to assist in the post-secondary education
of spouses or children of permanently disabled or fatally injured
workers. The 1991 Legislature established the Workers' Memorial
Scholarship at the request of the Oregon AFL-CIO, with support from
Associated Oregon Industries.

Applicants must be Oregon residents receiving fatality benefits, a
dependent or spouse of a fatally injured worker, or the dependent or
spouse of an Oregon worker who has incurred a permanent total disability
and whose claim for workers' compensation benefits has been accepted.

The Workers' Memorial Scholarship is open to any high school graduate,
graduating high school senior, GED recipient, or current college
undergraduate or graduate student who is a dependent or spouse of an
Oregon worker who has been fatally injured or permanently disabled while
on the job.

The awards are funded from interest earned on a Department of Consumer
and Business Services fund derived from Oregon OSHA civil fines and

Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer & Business
Services, enforces the state's workplace safety and health rules and
works to improve workplace safety and health for all Oregon workers. The
Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon's largest
business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more
information, visit


For More Information:
Kevin Weeks, Oregon OSHA
(503) 947-7428

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