Workers Memorial Day — April 28, 2017

Article Metrics
Related Materials

Workers Memorial Day, observed annually on April 28,* recognizes workers who suffered or died because of exposures to hazards at work. In 2015, work-related injuries claimed the lives of 4,836 U.S. workers. Although deaths resulting from work-related injuries are captured by surveillance systems, most deaths resulting from work-related illness are not. In 2007, an estimated 53,445 persons died from work-related illness (1). In 2015, employers reported approximately 2.9 million nonfatal injuries and illnesses to private industry workers and 752,600 to state and local government workers§; an emergency department surveillance system estimates that 2.7 million workers were treated for work-related injuries in emergency departments, resulting in 85,000 hospitalizations (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health [CDC-NIOSH], unpublished data, 2017).

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, based on methods that focus on medical costs and productivity losses (1).

New data on fatal falls in the oil and gas industry are reported in this issue of MMWR. CDC-NIOSH collects detailed information about these fatal events in its Fatalities in Oil and Gas Extraction Industry database ( and uses these data to inform the industry and other stakeholders about health and safety risks and to guide intervention activities.

* Workers Memorial Day was established in 1970 by the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations.

National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2015.

§ Employer-reported workplace injuries and illnesses in 2015.


  1. Leigh JP. Economic burden of occupational injury and illness in the United States. Milbank Q 2011;89:728–72. CrossRefExternal PubMedExternal

Suggested citation for this article: Workers Memorial Day — April 28, 2017. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2017;66:417. DOI:

MMWR and Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report are service marks of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Use of trade names and commercial sources is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
References to non-CDC sites on the Internet are provided as a service to MMWR readers and do not constitute or imply endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CDC is not responsible for the content of pages found at these sites. URL addresses listed in MMWR were current as of the date of publication.

All HTML versions of MMWR articles are generated from final proofs through an automated process. This conversion might result in character translation or format errors in the HTML version. Users are referred to the electronic PDF version ( and/or the original MMWR paper copy for printable versions of official text, figures, and tables.

Questions or messages regarding errors in formatting should be addressed to

View Page In:Cdc-pdf
Page last reviewed: August 1, 2017