Washington remembers and honors 93 at Worker Memorial Day ceremony

April 23, 2024

TUMWATER — Two bartenders gunned down leaving work, a deckhand lost at sea when his crab boat sank, and a logging truck driver who died years after being partially paralyzed when struck by a log are among the 93 workers to be honored at the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries’ (L&I) Worker Memorial Day ceremony.

This year’s state observance is Thursday, April 25 at 2 p.m., at L&I’s headquarters in Tumwater.

A commitment to worker safety

Exposure to toxic chemicals and radiation, falls, and motor vehicle accidents were among the leading causes of workplace deaths. Sixty-three of the workers being honored during Thursday’s ceremony died in 2023, while the remaining 30 passed away before last year but were not included in previous ceremonies.

“The names of the 93 workers remembered this year are a grief-filled reminder of why we stress workplace safety,” said L&I Director Joel Sacks. “Government, business, and labor must do all we can to increase safety in every business and on every job site. No family member, friend, or coworker should have to endure such loss when we know these deaths are preventable.”

Construction remains a dangerous industry, claiming 13 lives. The agricultural industry accounted for 11 deaths, while there were nine transportation-related deaths. Firefighting was the next highest with five fatalities.

“While families and friends are left to mourn these fallen workers, we can honor them by always focusing on preventing these tragedies from happening in the first place,” Sacks said.

Ceremony will remember those who were lost

Governor Jay Inslee, L&I Director Joel Sacks, and representatives from the Washington State Labor Council, the Association of Washington Business, and the Washington Self-Insurers Association are scheduled to speak at the Worker Memorial Day ceremony. L&I invites the public to attend in person or watch the event live online or on TVW.

During the ceremony, the names of the workers who died will be read, accompanied by bell ringers from the Tumwater Fire Department. After the ceremony, families are invited to ring the Memorial Bell in the Worker Memorial Garden on the grounds of L&I’s headquarters. 

This is the 31st time L&I has held the annual Worker Memorial Day ceremony. It’s one of many events in April honoring fallen workers across the nation.


What: Worker Memorial Day Ceremony

When: April 25, 2024, 2 p.m. (PDT)

Where: L&I Headquarters, 7273 Linderson Way SW, Tumwater, WA 98501

Who: Families, friends, L&I employees, and the public are invited to attend the event in person or watch the ceremony via livestream (Lni.wa.gov/WorkerMemorialDay) and on L&I’s Facebook page.  

Media: Media who wish to attend, please RSVP to Jeff Mayor using the contact information below.

For media information:

Jeff Mayor, L&I Public Affairs, 360-999-8920.

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