UW event on April 29, 2015 to honor workers who died from job-related injuries or illnesses in Washington State

CONTACT: Elizabeth Sharpe: 206.685.6737, esharpe@uw.edu

The Workers’ Memorial Day ceremony on Wednesday, April 29, 2015, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm, will honor the 92 workers (including 2 service-members) who died from job-related injuries or illnesses in Washington State last year. Thirteen of these fatalities were from King County. The ceremony will take place at the University of Washington, Seattle Campus, Husky Union Building (HUB), room 160 (Lyceum).

The University of Washington (UW) Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences (DEOHS) is collaborating with UW campus students, UAW 4121, M.L. King County Labor Council, UW United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS), SEIU 925, WFSE Local 1488/AFSCME Council 28, American Association of United Professors (AAUP), UW Environmental Health and Safety, and the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies to raise awareness about strengthening our commitment to safe jobs and healthy lives for Washington workers.

In 2014, the number has increased from last year when there were 65 fatalities.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act assures workers the right to a safe and healthy job. Yet, more needs to be done to protect American workers from injuries, disease, and death.

In 2013, 4,405 workers nationwide were killed on the job. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported more than 3 million job injuries and illnesses among private-sector workers in the same year. But due to underreporting, these numbers may understate the problem.

The UW ceremony will include a formal reading of the 13 names of the fallen workers from King County, Washington and those serving in the army forces. They were ironworkers, construction laborer, retail manager, delivery driver, retail clerk, apprentice lineman, mountain guide, autobody painter, helicopter pilot press operator, photographer, and a steelworker.

Stephen Bezruchka, senior lecturer in the University of Washington School of Public Health Departments of Health Services and Global Health will give the keynote presentation. He is an expert in the relationship between income inequality and health disparities and how they relate to worker health.

The Workers’ Memorial Day observance is open to the public.

Download the flyer.