April 27, 2004
Statement made by NIOSH Director John Howard in Observance of Workers Memorial Day 2004
Contact: Fred Blosser (202) 401-3749
Each year, April 28 is commemorated in the U.S. and internationally as Workers Memorial Day. This day honors the memory of men and women who have been killed or injured on the job.
Although efforts by many partners over the years have resulted in significant reductions in work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths, much more remains to be done. On estimate, an average of 6,834 people sustain disabling occupational injuries, 15 die from a job-related injury, and 134 die from work-related illnesses in the United States each day.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) provides national and world leadership to prevent work-related illness, injury, disability, and death by gathering data, conducting scientific research, and translating the knowledge gained into products and services that will improve worker safety and health. NIOSH has pledged to meet this commitment by:
- Developing and evaluating more effective tools and methods for preventing work-related injuries and illnesses, and finding new ways to quickly move those results of NIOSH research into everyday practice.
- Leveraging the capabilities and resources of many diverse agencies and organizations through partnerships under the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA).
- Building new collaborative relationships internationally, such as those highlighted recently on World Health Day 2004 to reduce the risk of work-related motor vehicle fatalities (the leading cause of work-related deaths in the U.S.).
Workers Memorial Day is an occasion to reflect on the importance of our mission, in the memory of the men and women who have suffered injury, illness, and death on the job. It is also an occasion to rededicate ourselves to the goal of the 1970 Occupational Safety and Health Act, “to assure so far as possible every working man and woman in the Nation safe and healthful working conditions.”
Please see http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/mmwr/WkrMemDay04.html for more information.
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