Relatives are invited to chime the brass bell in the Worker Memorial Garden outside the L&I building in Tumwater after the ceremony. The bell is dedicated to all Washington residents who die from a workplace injury or illness.

L&I Memorial Ceremony Honoring 65

Family members and friends, as well as the public, are invited to attend the Worker Memorial Day ceremony April 26 at the Washington state Department of Labor & Industries' headquarters in Tumwater.

Family members and friends, as well as the public, are invited to attend the Worker Memorial Day ceremony April 26 at the Washington state Department of Labor & Industries’ headquarters in Tumwater as the agency honors 65 people who died during 2017 in the course of their work.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is scheduled to speak at the ceremony.

"We feel a sense of tragedy as each name is read aloud during the ceremony, and we're reminded of the families and friends left behind," said L&I Director Joel Sacks. "We have to do better. The best way to honor these fallen workers is to ensure that employers and workers have the knowledge and resources they need to stay safe and healthy."

The 65 people who died on the job in 2017 ranged in age from 20 to 87. They worked in fields that include retail, trucking, construction, accounting, fishing, and the dairy industry. According to the L&I news release, "Four died as a result of violence in the workplace and six succumbed after years-long battles with work-related illnesses. As always, falls were a leading cause of workers' deaths in 2017. They are sudden and preventable with simple precautions."

The ceremony will begin at the L&I headquarters Auditorium at 2 p.m. local time. Each worker's name will be read, accompanied by bell ringers from the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters. After the ceremony, families are invited to the Worker Memorial Garden outside to ring the memorial bell and say a few words about their loved ones. Along with the governor, 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 20 years.

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