Vol. 66, No. 16
April 28, 2017
Workers Memorial Day — April 28, 2017
Weekly / April 28, 2017 / 66(16);417
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departments, resulting in 85,000 hospitalizations (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health [CDC-NIOSH], unpublished data, 2017).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 (https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/fog/about.html) 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. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/cfoi.pdf.
§ Employer-reported workplace injuries and illnesses in 2015. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/osh.pdf.