Worker Memorial Day at the University of Washington


The University of Washington Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences annual Worker Memorial Day event is a special ceremony that raises awareness about how we can strengthen our commitment to make jobs safer and save lives in Washington State. 


Worker Power in the 21st Century - April 27, 2022 - Ceremony Recording


Keynote Address: Katie Garrow (she/her/hers) - Laborers Local 242, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, MLK Labor

Katie Garrow was elected to serve as Executive Secretary-Treasurer of MLK Labor in September 2021. Katie got her start in the labor movement organizing domestic workers and day laborers through a hiring hall in the San Francisco Bay Area. She went on to represent public sector workers at the City of Seattle at PROTEC17, before joining the staff at MLK Labor. At the Labor Council, Katie’s focus has included a very successful push to grow labor’s political power beyond Seattle and into South King County where union members make up as much as 40% of the electorate. She worked to elect more than 50 union members as mayors, city council members, and school board directors in Seattle and South King County. She has also led the Labor Council’s work around anti-racism, climate change, and workforce development. Garrow was born into a working-class family in Grays Harbor County in WA, where her father was a union boilermaker and her mother worked in rural economic development. She witnessed firsthand the decline of such logging towns like hers in the area. Consequently, she is rooted in the plight of the rural working class, but is also passionately devoted to making the labor movement relevant and representative of women, people of color, and LGBTQ workers who have been left out and at times excluded from our unions and American prosperity.



This event is a joint program provided by the University of Washington (UW) Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences (DEOHS), The Northwest Center for Occupational Health & Safety, Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 925 UW Libraries Union, Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE), Local 1488 /American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 28, Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) Local 4121, American Association of University Professors (AAUP) Faculty Forward, Ironworkers Local 86, UFCW 3000, UW Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S), SEIU Healthcare 1199NW, and UW DEOHS Continuing Education Programs


Worker Memorial Day Resources from AFL-CIO:

  • Materials and Artwork: Please scroll down our Workers Memorial Day home page to view and download this year's materials and artwork, including posters, stickers, and fliers in English and Spanish. Stickers are available for "Organize! Safe Jobs Now" and for "Mourn for the Dead. Fight for the Living." Place an order for shipped materials here: https://go.aflcio.org/wmd-materials
  • Toolkit Coming Soon: Soon, AFL-CIO will be distributing more materials to help you plan your commemorations and advocacy efforts. These include talking points, sample materials for media outreach, worker safety and health facts, state-by-state safety and health data, fact sheets, digital resources, infographics and other information.
  • Hashtags you can use to build solidarity online around Workers Memorial Day:  #IWMD2022 #WorkersMemorialDay #1uSafety 
  • Contact info for AFL-CIO about Workers Memorial Day: oshmail@aflcio.org or 202-637-5341




The University of Washington Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences annual Worker Memorial Day event is a special ceremony that raises awareness about how we can strengthen our commitment to make jobs safer and save lives in Washington State. The 2021 event was made possible in collaboration with UW Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies, the Northwest Center for Occupational Health & Safety, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 925, Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) Local 1488 / American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 28, SEIU Healthcare 1199NW, and Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) Local 4121.

Keynote Address: Healing in Crisis: Honesty, Solidarity, and Transformational Change

April Sims, Secretary Treasurer, Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO

This year's ceremony will honor workers in King County, WA, who lost their lives on the job in 2020. Following a year of the COVID-19 pandemic, and rekindled movements for racial justice, we will highlight how we can confront inequality through solidarity and transformational change in the workplace and beyond.








Visit the AFL-CIO Worker Memorial Day Website

Retail Worker Hazard Alert - Women Victims of Homicide (Jan 2021) - Washington State Fatalities Assessment & Control Evaluation (FACE) Program - Washington State Labor & Industries

View/Download the 2021 Ceremony Flyer

Photo MauiGirl11/flickr



Keynote Address: Sacrificing on the Frontlines During COVID-19

Healthcare Workers at Risk, Bianca Frogner, PhD, Director, UW Center for Health Workforce Studies

Service Workers at Risk, Marissa Baker, PhD, Assistant Professor, UW DEOHS


2020 UW DEOHS Video Honoring King County's Fallen Workers:


Worker Memorial Day 2019 Archive

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:

Resources related to Worker Memorial Day 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.