Remember Those We've Lost, Pledge to Work Safely - National Safety Council

Remember Those We've Lost, Pledge to Work Safely

Workers' Memorial Day is April 28

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Preventable workplace deaths have increased four consecutive years. In recognition of Workers' Memorial Day April 28, please join NSC in remembering those who have died in preventable workplace incidents.

At 11 a.m. (CT) Friday, April 26, NSC will host a virtual candlelight vigil on Facebook. All are welcome to join by offering comments of support, remembrance and love for those who tragically died while working.

The Council also urges Americans to take the Safe at Work Pledge to prioritize safety at work, and dedicate that pledge to those who have been killed in preventable workplace incidents.

Preventable workplace deaths totaled 4,414 in 2017, up from 4,398 in 2016, the fourth consecutive annual increase. And since 2009 – the peak of the recession – preventable work-related deaths have increased 17.5%, while the number of workers increased 8.2%.

Notable increases in preventable workplace deaths from 2017 include:

  • Motor vehicle crashes involving commuters totaled 1,299 deaths, up from 1,252 in 2016; 882 transportation and warehousing employees died on the job, and more than 96,000 were injured
  • 971 construction workers lost their lives, and nearly 80,000 were injured
  • Falls to a lower level totaled 713, up from 697 in 2016
  • Nonmedical use of drugs or alcohol that led to an unintentional overdose totaled 272, up from 217 in 2016
  • 581 workers in the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting industries died in the line of work, and nearly 17,000 were injured

Technology can be a solution to some of the safety issues in our workplaces. The Council has received a $500,000 grant from the Pittsburgh-based McElhattan Foundation to launch the Work to Zero initiative. Work to Zero will help educate employers about new technological safety advancements that promise to reduce and ultimately end workplace deaths by the year 2050.