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Fallen workers to be honored at April 25 ceremony in Tumwater

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April 22, 2019 #19-009

Tumwater – Washington workers who died from workplace injuries and illnesses in 2018 will be honored at the state's upcoming Worker Memorial Day ceremony.

This year 68 workers who died on the job will be remembered, along with 23 workers who passed away as a result of longer battles with occupational illnesses.

Motor vehicle crashes posed a serious hazard for Washington workers, claiming 17 lives in 2018. Falls remain a leading cause of workplace fatalities; 15 of the workers honored died as a result of falls last year. Eight died from workplace violence.

The ceremony, hosted by the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I), is scheduled for 2 p.m., April 25 at the L&I headquarters auditorium in Tumwater. Families and friends of fallen workers and the public are invited; Gov. Jay Inslee is scheduled to speak at the ceremony.

“Each year this ceremony is one of the most important, and perhaps the most difficult, thing I do,” said L&I Director Joel Sacks. “It's a reminder to everyone of how important workplace safety is, and of the real-life, heartbreaking impact of work-related deaths. As we honor these fallen workers and their families, we also recommit to improving safety and ending the need for these sad and solemn events.”

Adding to the sadness of each life lost is the knowledge that every one of these incidents was preventable. The Worker Memorial Day ceremony stands as a reminder that these were human lives lost, and that the work to prevent future workplace deaths is vital.

During the event, each worker's name will be read, accompanied by bell ringers from the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters. After the formal ceremony, families are invited to the Worker Memorial Garden outside to ring the memorial bell and say a few words about their loved ones, if they wish.

Along with Gov. Inslee, representatives from the Association of Washington Business, the Washington State Labor Council, the Washington Self-Insurers Association, and Kids Chance will take part in the ceremony.

L&I has hosted this event for more than two decades. It's one of many ceremonies in April honoring fallen workers across the nation.

Details

What: Worker Memorial Day Ceremony

When: April 25, 2019, 2-3 p.m.

Where: L&I Headquarters Building, 7273 Linderson Way, S.W., Tumwater

Who: Families, friends, L&I employees, and the public are invited.

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For media information: Frank Ameduri, L&I Public Affairs, 360-902-5413.

Connect with L&I: Facebook (facebook.com/laborandindustries) and Twitter (twitter.com/lniwa)

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