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Tears shed at Day of Mourning ceremony in Kelowna’s Ben Lee Park

Dozens gathered to remember the lives lost in workplace incidents
The North Okanagan Labour Council held a gathering for the Day of Mourning at Ben Lee Park in Kelowna on April 28, 2024. (Brittany Webster/Capital News)

Kelowna residents marked the Day of Mourning with a gathering at Ben Lee Park.

Hosted by the North Okanagan Labour Council, dozens joined together to remember the lives lost in workplace incidents.

Council President Nicole Cabrejos addressed the numbers of workplace deaths.

“Around the world, every 15 seconds one worker dies. So, in the time it took for me to greet you we lost a worker… Around the world, every 15 seconds 151 work related injuries are reported and 76 non-fatal occupational diseases are reported.”

Cabrejos was joined by Kelowna councillors Loyal Wooldridge and Mohini Singh, Hermender Singh Kailley with the B.C. Federation of Labour, and Worksafe BC Prevention Officer Len Tarling.

At the end of the formal ceremony, attendees were given the chance to speak. A woman named Christine stepped up to the microphone to share her workplace injury story.

Christine lost part of her right arm and some of the fingers on her left hand while cleaning a meat grinder on April 28, 2010.

“There was no guard, no kill switch, and the power cord plugged in behind an industrial style stove.”

Christine said the amputation was immediate, but all of it could have been avoided with the installation of a $20 part.

A total of 175 British Columbians died in 2023 due to a workplace injury or disease.

READ MORE: Thousands swarm Kelowna’s Rutland for Vaisakhi celebrations

Brittany Webster

About the Author: Brittany Webster

I am a video journalist based in Kelowna and capturing life in the Okanagan
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