Worker Memorial Day at the University of Washington


DEOH's annual Worker Memorial Day event is a special ceremony will raise awareness about how we can strengthen our commitment to make jobs safer and save lives in Washington State. 

This page is dedicated to resources associated with Worker Memorial Day. Each year the DEOHS Worker Memorial Day Ceremony focues on a different theme - you will find resources below corresponding to each year's theme.



Thank you to all who attended the 2019 UW Worker Memorial Day Ceremony. This annual event is a time to honor and remember workers who lost their lives due to work-related injuries and illnesses in the past year, and to recommit ourselves to creating safe and healthy workplaces for all workers. 

This year's keynote speech by Dr. Gary Franklin addressed the workplace implications of the current opioid crisis. Dr. Franklin shared his expertise on the challenges surrounding the current opioid crisis, including the adverse impacts of opioids prescribed for treatment of workplace injuries, workplace injuries and fatalities related to opioid use, and challenges in tracking and reporting the relationship between opioids and workplace injuries and fatalities.

Reversing the Adverse Impact of Opioids on Injured Workers - Click here to watch the ceremony opening and keynote speech

Keynote Speaker:

Dr. Gary M. Franklin 

Medical Director, Washington State Department of Labor and Industries

Professor, University of Washington Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciencs and Department of Medicine (Neurology)

Adjunct Professor, University of Washington Department of Health Services

Download the 2019 Ceremony Flyer

The 2019 Worker Memorial Day Ceremony was partially sponsored by:

New Resources for 2019

Opioids and injured workers - Interview with Dr. Gary Franklin, UW DEOHS Blog

Testing strategies to combat the opioid epidemic - UW SPH article on Dr. Gary Franklin research 

A Fatal Cure for Injured Workers - The National Safety Council

Fentanyl overdose deaths in the U.S. have been doubling every year - LA Times

ITUC announces their 2019 Worker Memorial Day Theme: Taking Control - removing dangerous substances from the workplaceITUC will focus on Zero Cancer - how to eliminate or minimise exposure to carcinogens in the workplace. 

Opioids in the Workplace: NIOSH Extramural Research

Pacific Northwest OSHA Education Center April 2019 Newsletter: Worker Memorial Day

Gary Franklin Keynote Address, Reversing the Adverse Impacts of Opioids on Injured Workers

Honoring 11 King Count Workers Who Lost their Lives in 2018:


2018 Resources - Worker Rights, Safety and #MeToo Awareness

Click here to download the 2018 ceremony flyer.

Click here to view the 2018 ceremony program.

UW Worker Memorial Day event to focus on worker safety in the #MeToo era - DEOHS article

Respectful Workplaces and Health & Safety Empowerment for Women in Highway Construction Jobs

Safety and Health Empowerment for Women in Trades Research Study

Sexual Harassment Prevention in Agriculture 

EHS Today - Leading Responsibly in the Time of #MeToo

This special video was made in honor of 12 workers who lost their lives in King County in 2017:


2017 Resources - Workplace Violence

Download the 2017 event flyer 

Heartbeat of Health and Safety Podcast, "Worker Memorial Day and the History of Occupational Health and Safety"

Pacific Northwest OSHA Education Center 2017 Worker Memorial Day Newsletter

2017 Keynote address: Rais Bhuiyan - Protecting Workers From Violence: A Hate Crime Survival Story

Survivor of Workplace Violence Calls for Empathy on Workers' Memorial Day - UW SPH News

UW DEOHS CE Workplace Violence Resource Page - NEW!

Workplace Violence: Shooting Survivor Becomes Forgiveness Ambassador - Northwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety Blog

New Resource: National Center for Victims of Crime, Workplace Violence Statistics Infographic - View


Other Information and Resources:


  • 2016 UW Event Flyer: Download
  • 2016 Keynote Address: Rebecca Saldaña, Executive Director, Puget Sound Sage: View
  • ALF-CIO 2016 Worker Memorial Day Fact Sheet: Download
  • AFL-CIO 2016 Worker Memorial Day Poster: Download
  • National Council for Occupational Safety and Health US Worker Fatality Database: View
  • Work-Related Fatalities in Washington State 2015 Report: Download
  • University of Washington 2015 Event Program: Download
  • 2015 Keynote Speech by Stephen A. Bezruchka: Download
  • University of Washington 2015 Event Flyer: Download
  • 2015 OSHA Worker Memorial Day Poster - Download
  • WA L&I Thoughts and Photos Honoring Washington State Workers who Died in 2014: Download
  • WA L&I Workers Memorial Day Website: Visit
  • Dr. David Michaels and Joseph Main, “Renewing Our Commitment to Worker Safety”: View
  • Dr. John Howard, NIOSH Director, “Workers Memorial Day, 2015”: View
  • President Obama, “Workers Memorial Day, 2015”: View
  • AFL-CIO’s 2015 “Death on the Job; The toll of neglect” report, April 2015: View
  • National COSH, “Not an Accident: Preventable Deaths 2015,” April 28, 2015: Download
  • CDC – MMWR, “Workers’ Memorial Day, April 28, 2015” (statistics): View
  • EHS Today, “4,585 Reasons for Workers Memorial Day”: View
  • EHS Today, “Celebrating World Safety and Health at Work Day": View
  • Renewing our Commitment of Worker Safety OSHA Blog - View
  • Additional OSHA Resource List: Download

In honor of Worker Memorial Day, please view this video from WA L&I.


Photo Gallery:




Presentation of the Colors, UW Air Force ROTC Honor Guard     Bagpiper Neil Hubbard accompanies the UW Air Force Honor Guard


Keynote Speaker Rebecca Saldana                                              A moment of silence for King County's fallen workers


Enjoying music from the Seattle Labor Chorus                           Memorial Recognition, Caitlin Benstead, SEIU Local 925



2015 Workers' Memorial Day Planning Committee          Singing "we just come to work here, we don't come to die"




A moment of silence for fallen workers                            Committee members listening as the names of fallen workers are read.




Jeff Johnson, president of the WA State Labor Council      Keynote speaker Stephen Bezruchka, UW Dept. of Health Services




Ramon Torres, president of Familias Unidas por la Justicia recalls a fallen co-worker and friend.