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Workers Memorial Day ceremony honors Oregon workers who died on the job in 2023

For immediate release

April 23, 2024

Contact information

​​​Aaron Corvin, Public Information Officer
971-718-6973, aaron.corvin@dcbs.​
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Salem, OR — It’s a day to remember those who died on the job. It’s a day to grieve with families, friends, and communities. It’s a day to renew our responsibility to create and maintain safe and healthy workplaces for all workers in Oregon.

Oregon workers who died on the job will be honored with a ceremony at noon Friday, April 26, in Salem. The Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) – part of the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) – and Oregon AFL-CIO invite all Oregonians to attend the Workers Memorial Day observance.

The event will take place at the Fallen Workers Memorial outside the Labor and Industries Building, 350 Winter St. NE, on the Capitol Mall. The memorial service, coordinated by Oregon AFL-CIO, will feature remarks from union leaders, safety and health advocates, and elected officials.

“Every day, people across Oregon leave their homes and go to work to provide for themselves and their families – and to help make the state a thriving place to live,” Gov. Tina Kotek said. “Today, we honor the Oregonians whose lives were tragically lost doing their job and offer our deepest condolences to their families. Going forward, we will continue our efforts to make working conditions safer, so all workers are better protected.”

During the ceremony, Sen. Deb Patterson and House Majority Leader Ben Bowman will read the names of Oregon workers who died on the job in 2023.

Oregon OSHA Administrator Renée Stapleton and Oregon AFL-CIO President Graham Trainor will serve as event speakers. The event will also include remarks from PCUN Representative Liz Marquez Gutierrez and a reading of Gov. Kotek’s proclamation by Vince Porter, the governor’s deputy chief of staff for public administration. 

Oregon workplaces are safer and healthier today than in previous decades. Yet, there are still far too many preventable on-the-job deaths each year. 

“Every worker and their family deserves to know, without question, that they will return home safely at the end of a shift,” Trainor said. “This year, we read the names of 56 fallen workers, which is an increase from last year and the absolutely starkest reminder that workplace safety must be taken seriously. Oregon unions will advocate for safety improvements on the job until there are no names to be read aloud on Workers Memorial Day. This is our most critical mission, and, while we’ve made significant progress, we must always strive for perfection when it comes to keeping working people safe on the job.” 

Through a partnership of labor, business, and government working together to bolster workplace safety and health, Oregon’s fatality and injury and illness rates have steadily declined for decades.

Nevertheless, there is room for improvement.

“As we honor the memories of the lives tragically taken from us, we must also summon our courage, skill, and ethical duty to rekindle our commitment to protecting the safety and health of all workers in Oregon,” Stapleton said. “Everyone who plays a role in the safety and health of Oregon workplaces – employers, managers, safety and health professionals, employees, co-workers – must do this with urgency and clarity. Through our actions and words, we must carry the message forward that workers have an indisputable right to a safe and healthy workplace and that employers are obligated – not just legally, but morally – to protect their workers from harm.”

The annual Workers Memorial Day serves as a nationwide day of remembrance. The observance is traditionally held on April 28 because the U.S. Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act on that date in 1970.

Resources are available to workers and employers to advance on-the-job safety and health in Oregon, including:

Oregon OSHA

DCBS Multicultural Communications Program

Ombuds Office for Oregon Workers


About Oregon OSHA:

Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, enforces the state's workplace safety and health rules and works to improve workplace safety and health for all Oregon workers. For more information, go to

The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon's largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, go to