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U.S. Department of Labor to honor workers on Workers Memorial Day

By Stephen Elliott

April 21, 2024

OSHAWhen the nation first observed Workers Memorial Day on April 28, 1970, an estimated 38 U.S. workers suffered fatal on-the-job injuries each day and many more endured debilitating respiratory diseases and other life-altering illnesses related to workplace exposures.

Today, work-related injuries in the U.S. claim about 15 people’s lives a day. In 2022, a reported 5,486 workers suffered fatal injuries, an increase of 296 deaths from 2021.

This year, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) will remind the nation of the importance of protecting workers as families, friends, co-workers and the community at large gather across the country for Workers Memorial Day events on Sunday, April 28, to honor people who didn’t come home at the end of their shift.

“As we honor our fallen workers on Workers Memorial Day, we must remember that behind each workplace fatality there are loved ones enduring unimaginable grief,” said Doug Parker, assistant secretary for OSHA. “It is for the lost workers and those left behind that we continue to fight for every worker’s right to a safe working environment. Our mission at OSHA is to ensure that when someone leaves for work, they know they’ll come home safe at the end of the day to the arms of their families and loved ones.”

To commemorate Workers Memorial Day, the department will host a week-long series of events from April 22-25 to educate employers on the importance of safe and healthy workplaces. The series will culminate at an in-person and nationally livestreamed event at 1 p.m. EDT at its Washington headquarters where OSHA and MSHA leaders will join AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler and Stacy Sebald with the United Support & Memorial for Workplace Fatalities, whose 19-year-old son Mitchell McDaniel suffered fatal injuries in an agriculture incident in 2019.

Join OSHA and MSHA representatives, families, workers, labor unions, advocates and others to remember the lives lost and raise awareness of workplace safety to help prevent future tragedies.

Click here to find a local Workers Memorial Day event.

Click here to learn more about events nationwide and view the April 25 livestream.