Workers' Memorial Day History
Every year on April 28, trade unions and workplace health and safety campaigners all over the world focus on the issue of workers' health and safety. Decades of struggle by workers and their unions have resulted in significant improvements in working conditions. However, the toll of workplace injuries, illnesses, and deaths remain enormous. Each year, thousands of workers are killed and millions more are injured or diseased because of their jobs. Nationwide, workers remember these workers on April 28, Workers' Memorial Day. In Missouri, the Department holds the state Workers' Memorial Day ceremony around the same time as the national ceremony in April.
The first Workers' Memorial Day was observed in 1989. April 28 was chosen because it is the anniversary of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the day of a similar remembrance in Canada. Every year, people in hundreds of communities and at worksites recognize workers who have been killed or injured on the job. Trade unionist around the world now mark April 28 as an International Day of Mourning.