Before OSHA was created 43 years ago, an estimated 14,000 workers were killed on the job every year. Today, workplaces are much safer and healthier, going from 38 fatal injuries a day to 12.
OSHA promises workers the right to a safe job. Unions and allies have fought hard to make that promise a reality – winning protections that have made jobs safer, saved hundreds of thousands of lives and prevented millions of workplace injuries and illnesses. But there is still much work to be done – more than 4,500 workers still die on the job each year.
Workers’ Memorial Day
Workers’ Memorial Day is observed every year on April 28. It is a day to honor those workers who have died on the job, to acknowledge the grievous suffering experienced by families and communities, and to recommit ourselves to the fight for safe and healthful workplaces for all workers.
Every year, events are held across the country to remember workers who have died on the job and honor them by continuing to fight for improved worker safety. Please continue to join others on Workers Memorial Day to continue the fight for safe jobs.
Need Ideas For An Action? Here Are Some To Get You Started…
- Hold a memorial breakfast, rally, or candlelight vigil to honor the dead and fight for the living.
- Visit your elected officials, and tell them that safe work saves lives.
- Hold a training, teach-in, informative talk, or discussion group at your school, workplace, or union about worker fatalities and how to make workplaces safer.
- Write an op-ed or letter to the editor for your local paper, highlighting local workplace fatalities and prevention strategies.
- Make a Workers’ Memorial Week banner, and hang it where it can be widely seen.
- Reach out to family members who lost loved ones; include their stories in public education programs.
- These are just some suggestions, but feel free to be creative!
Workers’ Memorial Day Resources And Materials
- National Council for Occupational Safety and Health
- AFL-CIO – Workers Memorial Day
- Telling Our Stories — Tips to Writing a Workers’ Memorial Week Report
- Information Sources on Fatalities for Workers’ Memorial Day Reports
- US Worker Fatality database
- Video: “Our Loved Ones Died in Unsafe Workplaces”
- Family Resource Guide
- Photos from Workers’ Memorial Week events
- National COSH 2016 Workers Memorial Week report
- National COSH 2015 Workers Memorial Week report
- Briefing on Toxic Work: An ITUC Briefing explaining why trade unions must mobilize for protecting workers from hazardous substances, with key facts and figures.
- Pennsylvania AFL-CIO Workers’ Memorial Day Resolution
- San Francisco Labor Council Workers’ Memorial Day Resolution
- 2016 Presidential Proclamation on Workers Memorial Day