Flower Display at the Workers Memorial
56 cones outside the Transporatation Building which represent the fallen workers.
Dan Mathis, FHWA speaks about the advances by FHWA and the support of the Work Zone Safety program.
A long standing WSDOT tradition crossed over into the digital age Thursday afternoon, as the annual Work Zone Memorial ceremony was broadcast over the Internet to hundereds of WSDOT employees around the state.
Anyone wanting to participate in the Memorial in the past had to make the drive to Olympia. The “webcasted’ event enabled employees to participate and pay tribute to their fellow workers from multiple locations statewide.
Secretary MacDonald opened the event by welcoming guests in the room and those watching in twelve remote locations around the state. He reinforced WSDOT’s commitment to safety, reminding everyone that safety is personified by the sacrifice of those honored during the ceremony.
Assistant Secretary John Conrad and Work Zone Safety Engineer Frank Newboles provided insight as to how keeping our workers safe is woven into the fabric of everything we do.
The tragic impact of a worker killed or seriously injured was poignantly illustrated by Pat Forinash, a WSDOT employee now with the Headquarters Real Estate Services division. He provided moving remarks about his experience suffering an on-the-job injury while working on the road for WSDOT, just two months after losing a co-worker and close friend in a work zone crash.
Dan Mathis, FHWA Administrator, reinforced the federal support of the Work Zone Safety program by talking about specific advances by FHWA to strengthen the agency’s commitment to reducing fatals and disabling injuries in work zones across the country. He concluded his remarks by reading a poem he wrote in 2004, paying tribute to fallen workers.
Following the reading of the 56 names of fallen workers, the program was concluded by Statewide Maintenance and Operations Co-Director Chris Christopher.
“The passage of time, while taking away the some of the sharp edge of the pain that so many have gone through, never takes it away completely. But it doesn't take away our resolution to do all we can to keep our work zones as safe as possible,” Christopher explained. “I firmly believe our department is completely committed to doing that. It's a huge commitment on the part of the department, but it's the absolute right thing to do it’s a challenge; we're there, we're going to be doing it and it's a big deal.”
The remote locations showing the web cast also hosted mini trade shows, providing refreshments and handing out Give Em A Brake give aways, news about the latest safety gear and other Work Zone and Worker Safety information.
Other Worker Memorials around the state -
Aberdeen (Olympic Region) 25th Anniversary - Bobby Johnson