New Jersey Department of Health

PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Cathleen D. Bennett
Acting Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160

Department Recognizes Workers’ Memorial Day

Health and Safety Make Workplaces Productive

Each and every day, New Jersey residents work around the clock to earn a living and provide for their families. Workers’ Memorial Day is celebrated every year on April 28 to emphasize the importance of safety and health in workplaces and to honor those who have died or were injured on the job.

In 2014, 4,679 U.S. workers died from work-related injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In that same year, employers reported about 3 million nonfatal injuries and illnesses to private industry workers and 722,000 to state and local government workers.

Last year, the New Jersey Department of Health, with the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, confirmed 92 work-related fatal injuries in New Jersey, 13 among public employees.

“Health and safety are vital components of productive workplaces,” Acting Health Commissioner Cathleen Bennett said. “We are committed to ensuring workplaces are hazard-free and workers understand how to protect themselves and others on the job.”

To do this, the Department investigates health hazards in the workplace, such as chemical exposures, and ensures adequate personal protective equipment. In February, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration approved the New Jersey State Plan for government employees, which certifies the state meets all federal requirements for ensuring the safety and health of public workers.

The Occupational Health Surveillance Unit’s Fatal Occupational Injuries Surveillance Project supports the prevention of work-related fatal injuries through the identification and investigation of incidents, development of prevention recommendations and creation of outreach and educational materials.

Two resources were recently developed to raise awareness and assist employers and workers regarding falls in the construction industry. First, a Ladder Safety Resources webpage lists key resources for safe practices and injury prevention while working with ladders. This resource is available on the Department’s website in English and Spanish.

An infographic was also developed regarding work-related fatalities among the state’s Hispanic population. Between 1990 and 2013, 442 Hispanics died on the job in New Jersey. This tool presents data on these fatalities, including age, gender, nationality, and manner and place of death, and illustrates that falls are the leading cause of death in this worker population. The infographic is available on the Department’s in English and Spanish.

These new resources will be included in the 2016 National Campaign to Prevent Falls in Construction. The goal is to encourage safe work practices and use of appropriate equipment to prevent falls in the construction industry. The campaign is led by the Center for Construction Research and Training, the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. For more information, visit

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