Mourn for the Dead, Fight for the Living
Safe Jobs, Every Worker’s Right
The Teamsters Union, and trade unionists around the world, recognize April 28 as Workers' Memorial Day — an international day of remembrance and action for workers killed, disabled, injured or made ill by their work.
Workers' Memorial Day is an opportunity to highlight the preventable nature of most workplace injuries and illnesses, and to promote the fight for improving health and safety at each and every workplace. The slogan for the day is "Safe Jobs, Every Worker’s Right."
To help mark this important day, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) is providing the following resources to help with the planning of activities at local unions and workplaces.
Decades of struggle by workers and their unions have resulted in significant improvements in working conditions. But the toll of workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths remains enormous.
Since 1989, the U.S. labor movement has observed Workers’ Memorial Day to remember those who have suffered and died on the job. April 28 was chosen because it is the anniversary of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Workers' Memorial Day has been officially endorsed by the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) and the International Labor Organization (ILO), and is now observed in nearly 100 countries.
In 2016, 5,190 workers were killed on the job (a 7-percent increase from 2015). Another 54,000 workers died from occupational diseases. This is the third consecutive increase in annual workplace fatalities and the first time more than 5,000 fatalities have been recorded by the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) since 2008.
Each year, millions of workers are injured – like truck drivers, sanitation workers and warehouse workers who suffer epidemic rates of repetitive motion injuries.
Nearly 3 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported by private industry employers, and about 700,000 injuries and illness cases were reported among state and local government workers. Work injuries involving transportation incidents remained the most common fatal event in 2016, accounting for 40 percent (2,083). Violence and other injuries by persons or animals increased 23 percent to become the second-most common fatal event in 2016. Two other events with large changes were exposure to harmful substances or environments, which rose 22 percent, and fires and explosions, which declined 27 percent.
To help mark this important day, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) is providing the following resources to help with the planning of activities at local unions and workplaces: