Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
Worker Memorial Day
April 25, 2001

I am honored to be with you for this somber occasion.

Washington state, with its wealth of natural resources, its hard-working and creative people, and its strategic trading position, is enjoying a vibrant economy.

We harvest trees, catch fish, grow crops, build skyscrapers and airplanes, haul huge containers filled with goods produced in the United States and around the world and drive the world’s information-age revolution.

But there is another side to our success.

The work can be dangerous

People get hurt.

Some are killed.

So we are gathered together today to remember those who have fallen while helping us to build this unprecedented prosperity.

Let us remember comrades such as:

Max Chamalbide, a crewman on the trawler Northern Jaeger, died in an accident in Port Angeles last summer.

Randy Tobin, of Olympia, fell while trimming a tree.

David Susdorf of Bothell, was killed while making furniture.

Pasco’s Felix Hurley, died when his forklift overturned.

Marlo Harker, of Kennewick, fell to his death while inspecting potato storage sheds.

And then there was 23-year-old Royce Klingel, of Lyman, who was killed by a falling tree on his first day on the job in Skagit County.

Last year I attended services for two workers who died in two of the most dangerous jobs in the public sector.

Clallam County Sheriff’s Deputy Wally Davis was killed on August 6 when a mentally-ill man shot him.

Sam Williams, a flagger for the Washington Department of Transportation, was killed February 22 by a motorist while protecting fellow workers on Highway 12.

These are just examples of the tragedies that have befallen our working men and women in 2000.

Worker Memorial Day serves two purposes.

It helps us remember our fallen friends and family members.

It also reminds us we constantly must rededicate our efforts to finding ways to make Washington’s workplaces safe and healthy.

The Department of Labor and Industries has made enormous strides in this direction.

But each working person must help.

Be alert to potential dangers.

Speak up about them.

Remember, employers must have a formal, written accident prevention program.

They must establish, supervise and enforce rules that provide a safe and healthy workplace.

They must develop, supervise, implement and enforce safety and training programs.

Insist that safety programs are in place and that each of you has the training you need to do your job safely.

Don’t wink at danger on the job. Your lives -- our lives -- depend upon it.
Related Links:
- Washington State Department of Labor and Industries

Access Washington