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Workers' Memorial Day --- April 28, 2005

Workers' Memorial Day, April 28, was established in 1989 as an international day of remembrance for workers who died or were injured on the job. This day also commemorates the 34th anniversary of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, both of which were created by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Act.

On average, in the United States, nearly 11,000 workers are treated in emergency departments each day, and approximately 200 of these workers are hospitalized (1). An estimated 6,300 private-sector workers require time away from their jobs (2), 15 workers die from their injuries (3), and 134 die from work-related diseases (4). These losses account for nearly $73 billion in workers' compensation (5). International and national prevention practices during the preceding 3 decades have reduced these losses, but morbidity and mortality from occupational hazards are still a major social and economic burden.

This issue of MMWR includes reports on occupational safety and health in recognition of Workers' Memorial Day. Additional information about this day is available at http://www.ilo.org/public/english/protection/safework and http://www.aflcio.org/issuespolitics/toolkit/fliers.cfm. Information on workplace safety and health is available at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/homepage.html or by telephone, 800-356-4674.

References

  1. CDC. Work-Related Injury Statistics Query System. Available at http://www2a.cdc.gov/risqs.
  2. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Workplace injuries and illnesses in 2003. Available at http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/osh.pdf.
  3. Bureau of Labor Statistics. National census of fatal occupational injuries in 2003. Available at http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/cfoi.pdf.
  4. Steenland K, Burnett C, Lalich N, Ward E, Hurrel J. Dying for work: the magnitude of US mortality from selected causes of death associated with occupation. Am J Ind Med 2003;43:461--82.
  5. National Academy of Social Insurance. Workers' compensation: benefits, coverages, and costs, 2002. Available at http://www.nasi.org/usr_doc/workers_comp_2002.pdf.



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