An average of 13 working Americans are killed every day on the job, according to recent Department of Labor statistics. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their workers by setting and enforcing standards, as well as providing training, education and assistance. As part of those efforts, OSHA created Workers' Memorial Day, which is observed every year on April 28.
Worker’s Memorial Day is a day to honor workers who have died on the job and to recommit to the fight for safe and healthful workplaces for all workers. It is also the day OSHA was established in 1971.
Unlike Memorial Day, which occurs on the last Monday of May, Workers’ Memorial Day is not about taking a day off of work and enjoying a three-day weekend. Instead, it involves holding events to recognize those lost and to encourage safe working practices.
Ways to Recognize Workers’ Memorial Day
Every workplace faces its own, unique safety hazards, so ways to recognize this annual event will vary. The following are a few examples:
Conduct workshops to empower workers to report job safety hazards and increase awareness of workplace hazards.
Hold a vigil, memorial service or moment of silence to remember those who have died on the job.
Create a physical memorial in the workplace or in a community where employees have lost their lives on the job. Visit the memorial every April 28 to pay respects.
Every year, events are held across the country to remember workers who have died on the job and honor them by continuing to fight for improved worker safety. For a list of specific events, visit OSHA’s website to find a Workers’ Memorial Day event near you. All events listed are free and open to the public.