Workers’ Memorial Day — April 28, 2016

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Workers’ Memorial Day, observed annually on April 28, recognizes workers who suffered or died because of exposures to hazards at work. In 2014, 4,679 U.S. workers died from work-related injuries (1). Although deaths from work-related injuries are captured by surveillance systems, most deaths from work-related illness are not. In 2007, an estimated 53,445 deaths from work-related illness occurred (2). In 2014, employers reported approximately 3 million nonfatal injuries and illnesses to private industry workers and 722,000 to state and local government workers (3); an estimated 2.7 million work-related injuries were treated in emergency departments, resulting in 113,000 hospitalizations (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (CDC-NIOSH), unpublished data, 2016)*

Occupational injuries and illnesses also have economic costs. The societal cost of work-related fatalities, injuries, and illnesses was estimated at $250 billion in 2007 on the basis of methods that focus on medical costs and productivity losses (2).

New estimates of worker hearing impairment from the CDC-NIOSH Occupational Hearing Loss Surveillance program are reported in this issue of MMWR. The audiometric data analyzed in this report represent one example of existing health data that CDC-NIOSH uses for occupational health surveillance.


  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics. National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2014 preliminary results [Table 2]. Washington, DC: US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics; 2015.
  2. Leigh JP. Economic burden of occupational injury and illness in the United States. Milbank Q 2011;89:728–72. CrossRef PubMed
  3. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employer-reported workplace injuries and illnesses in 2014 [Table 2]. Washington, DC: US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics; 2015.

Suggested citation for this article: Workers’ Memorial Day — April 28, 2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016;65:389. DOI:

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