Workers' Memorial Day

April 28, 2017

Workers' Memorial Day, observed each year on April 28, honors workers killed, injured, or made ill at work. Since 1992, BLS has collected data on both nonfatal work injuries and illnesses that result in days away from work, and fatal work injuries. 

In 2015, the occupations with the highest number of nonfatal injuries and illnesses were:

  • Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers - 59,010 nonfatal injuries and illnesses involving days away from work
  • Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers - 49,260
  • Janitors and cleaners - 42,740
  • Nursing assistants -37,370
  • Maintenance and repair workers -30,020

The occupations with the largest number of fatal work injuries in 2015 were heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers (745 fatal injuries); farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers (252); construction laborers (235); first-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers (123); and landscaping and grounds keeping workers (111).

Fatal injuries and nonfatal injuries and illnesses differ significantly within the same occupation, both in numbers and in the event associated with the incident. Some occupations had high numbers of nonfatal injuries but few fatal injuries. Janitors and cleaners had the third highest number of nonfatal injuries and illnesses in 2015, at 42,740, versus 38 fatal injuries. Nursing assistants had the fourth highest number, with 37,370 nonfatal injuries and illnesses, compared to 4 fatal injuries.

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.Click here to find events in your area and more about Workers' Memorial Day from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Data are from the BLS Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities program.

 April 28 is also the day OSHA was established in 1971. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their workers. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.