In the 50 years since President Richard M. Nixon signed The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, the act that established OSHA, worker deaths and injuries have significantly declined. However, there is still work to be done in order to improve workplaces and protect workers.
Every worker has the right to come home safely at the end of a shift, but that is not always the case. In 2018 in the United States, there were 5,250 fatal workplace injuries and millions of additional workers suffered non-fatal injuries.
To remember and recognize those who have been killed, injured or suffered illnesses as the result of their workplace, April 28th is recognized annually as Workers’ Memorial Day. April 28th marks the anniversary of the date the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 went into effect, and when the Occupational Safety and Health Administration was formed (April 28, 1971.)
Each year, the date reminds us of the history of occupational safety measures taken at a federal level, as well as the work yet to be done to protect workers. The April 28th anniversary is used as a day to galvanize workers and highlight the ongoing need for safer workplaces.
Through union organization and the promotion of safety campaigns, the work that began with the creation of OSHA, must continue today.