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Workers’ Memorial Day to acknowledge lost workers on April 28

Preventable worker deaths increased for fourth consecutive year

Posted April 22, 2019

In recognition of Workers’ Memorial Day April 28, the National Safety Council (NSC) encourages Americans to remember workers who have died on the job. At 11 AM on Friday, April 26, NSC will host a virtual candlelight vigil on social media, where comments of support and remembrance can be posted.

NSC notes that preventable workplace deaths totaled 4,414 in 2017, up from 4,398 in 2016, the fourth consecutive annual increase. Since 2009, preventable work-related deaths have increased 17.5 percent, while the number of workers increased 8.2 percent.

Notable increases from 2017 include:

  • Motor vehicle crashes involving commuters totaled 1,299 deaths, up from 1,252 in 2016; 882 transportation and warehousing employees died on the job, and more than 96,000 were injured
  • 971 construction workers lost their lives, and nearly 80,000 were injured
  • Falls to a lower level totaled 713, up from 697 in 2016
  • Nonmedical use of drugs or alcohol that led to an unintentional overdose totaled 272, up from 217 in 2016
  • 581 workers in the agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting industries died in the line of work, and nearly 17,000 were injured

April 28 is also the date OSHA was established in 1971. The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) requires employers to provide a safe and healthful workplace for their employees that are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious injury or illness.

Everyday OSHA Safety & Health Management ManualJ. J. Keller's Everyday OSHA Safety & Health Management Manual provides "how-to" guidance and tools on a wide range of workplace health and safety issues.


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