Indiana to recognize Workers Memorial Day in April

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- State lawmakers are raising awareness for workplace safety.

In the last decade, more than a thousand people died in Indiana from unsafe work conditions.

State Representative Lisa Beck proposed a House resolution to honor those workers, as well as those who suffered from injuries. The House passed the resolution with bipartisan support.

The state will celebrate Workers Memorial Day each year on April 28.

"Too many people dying on the job... too many," said Samantha Hogue-Figgs, a mother whose daughter passed away two years ago.

23-year-old Shacarra Hogue was crushed by 750 pounds of steel at her workplace.

Before her death, she had only been working at Fort Wayne Plastics for two days. She was called into work on a Sunday at 2 p.m. Just 10 minutes later, she was dead.

According to her mother, safety equipment was taken out of the machine her daughter was using, and it had a history of defecting.

"Four weeks before Shacarra had even started working there, they closed that machine down because it was malfunctioning," said Hogue-Figgs.

Representative Beck is hoping Workers Memorial Day will draw attention to the hazards Hoosiers face in their work environments every day.

"It's also a call to action," said Beck. "Working together, we can make job sites safer for workers." 

Representative Beck believes enacting stronger safety standards and harsher punishments for companies that do not provide safe workplaces will keep more people safe in the future.

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