April 28, 2010
April 28, 2010 is Workers Memorial Day, and marks the 39th anniversary of the creation of NIOSH.
Dr. John Howard, Director of NIOSH, released a statement about commemorating those who have had job-related suffering:
Today we honor men and women who have suffered job-related injury, illness, and death. We recognize the immense toll that a loved one’s impairment or death imposes on families and communities. We rededicate ourselves to our national mission of eliminating dangerous conditions in the workplace.
Although we have made great strides collectively since the passage of historic safety and health laws in 1969 and 1970, we are still far short of victory, as the nation was reminded this month by the deaths of 29 men in the catastrophic explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine. On average, more than 5,000 workers die each every year across the U.S. from fatal injuries. Some 49,000 workers are estimated to die every year from occupational illnesses that may take decades to develop after first exposure.
- We must work to eliminate, once and for all, the hazards that still persist in the industries on which our economy is built. No one should suffer a job-related injury or illness.
- We must anticipate and engage the health and safety needs of the changing workplace. A rising generation of strong, capable workers is vital for America’s economic recovery and prosperity.
- We must develop and use new technologies and methodologies that will shape more rapid, more effective workplace interventions.
Read Dr. Howard’s full statement here.