COVID-19, construction fatalities among largest groups of fallen workers in state

COVID-19, construction fatalities among largest groups of fallen workers in state

Every year the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries hosts a memorial ceremony for workers who lost their lives on the job.

L&I records show 26 people passed away in 2021 after contracting COVID-19 while working in hospitals, prisons, manufacturing jobs, or other workplaces. Another 15 workers died following long battles with other occupational illnesses. This makes COVID-19 fatalities the highest work-related deaths for the second year in a row.

A total of 106 fallen workers were lost. They were all honored in L&I's annual Worker Memorial Day this week.

"Even as we believe that the worst of the pandemic is behind us, we find ourselves looking back on another year where COVID was the leading cause of job-related deaths," said Joel Sacks, L&I director. "We will not forget those who lost their lives to COVID or other causes. We all need to do everything in our power to ensure every worker goes home safe at the end of the day."

Work Zone Awareness Month

Ending; need for Safety Continues

Work Zone Awareness Month has ended, but the need for drivers to remain alert and cautious continues. In Clark County alone there were 28 crashes in and near work zones in 2021. The Washington State Department of Transportation says 93 percent of work zone injuries are to the other driver, their passenger or nearby pedestrians.

The WSDOT urges Washingtonians to remember the following while driving, especially near work zones:

  • Slow down
  • Stay alert & minimize distractions
  • Follow instructions from flaggers
  • Increase following distances
  • Expect the unexpected
  • Pay attention to road signs/flashing lights
  • Know before you go

State Superintendent's Office

Announces Grants for Organizations

Supporting Students' Pandemic Recovery

Across Washington state, community-based organizations are helping meet the unprecedented need for services for students overcoming the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction has been using federal emergency relief funds to provide grants for community-based organizations providing services in four key areas: Academic supports, behavioral health supports, case management and wraparound services, and student mentoring.

The office announced its newest round of grantees this week. In total, OSPI has awarded 97 organizations in 34 cities spanning nearly every county. Mentoring and tutoring, literacy programs, support for students experiencing homelessness, and mobile food markets are among the programs offered.

"Community-based organizations are a go-to source of support for students and families and they are often deeply rooted in their communities," said Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal. "It is critical that students have access to the services they need to succeed in their K-12 educational career and beyond. These grants provide an incredible opportunity to strengthen and expand the services available to students and their families outside of the classroom."

The newest round of grantees includes an organization in North Thurston and Tumwater that is piloting a program to provide housing for high school students who don't have a guardian to live with, and an organization in Wenatchee providing bilingual and bicultural academic and mental health support to students.