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Workers' Memorial Day --- April 28, 2002

April 28, 2002, has been designated Workers' Memorial Day to remember workers who have died from occupational injuries or diseases. Although workers in the United States are experiencing substantial improvements in occupational health and safety (1), occupational injuries and fatalities continue to occur.

During 1980--1998, approximately 109,000 civilian workers died from work-related injuries, an average of 16 deaths per day (CDC, unpublished data, 1998). In 1998, 3.6 million workers were seen in hospital emergency departments in the United States because of injuries that occurred on the job (2). In 2000, costs of fatal and nonfatal unintentional work-related injuries were an estimated $131.2 billion (3).

Workers' Memorial Day can serve as a reminder of the need to continue efforts to reduce the burden of work-related injuries and illnesses. Data and research findings on occupational injuries and illnesses can help focus such efforts. This issue of MMWR presents three reports of work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths.

Information about causes and prevention of work-related injury and disease is available from CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, telephone 800-356-4674, or at


  1. CDC. Improvements in workplace safety---United States, 1900--1999. MMWR 1999;48:461--9.
  2. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Worker health chartbook, 2000. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, CDC, 2000 (DHHS [NIOSH] publication no. 2000-127).
  3. National Safety Council. Injury Facts, 2001 Edition. Itasca, Illinois: National Safety Council, 2002.

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