A moment of silence was held at the ceremony for all those who have lost their lives in a workplace incident

Ceremony recognizes victims of fatal workplace accidents

Thursday was Canada's national Day of Mourning, remembering those who were killed in a workplace accident

Last year, 122 workers were killed on the job in British Columbia.

Two of those workers were from the Okanagan, and they were all recognized Thursday afternoon at Ben Lee Park in Kelowna in Canada’s national Day of Mourning.

“This is a day of great sadness and significance for so many,” said Mark Stokes, Kelowna manager of client services for WorkSafe B.C. “We’re all coming together to remember those who died, and to share in the loss of their families, their workplaces and their communities.”

Of all of the causes of the 122 workplace deaths, one stood out above the rest.

“Occupational disease remains the leading cause of work related fatality,” Stokes said. “72 of the 122 work related deaths last year resulted from occupational disease. 48 of those were due to asbestus related diseases. Because of how long it takes for asbestus exposure to manifest into disease, we’re seeing the real and horrific effects of yesterday’s exposures on our workers and retirees today. Unfortunately, this means the number of deaths from occupational disease could remain high for some yeast to come.”

Stokes highlighted it is the responsibility of the employer to provide a safe and healthy work place, and workers have the right to demand just that.

“These numbers represent men and women who were fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, sons, daughters, friends, coworkers and neighbours,” he said. “While work related deaths have been on the decline in the province and we continue to see a provincial injury rate that is at an historic low, we still have a lot of work to do.”

Kelowna Councillor Mohini Singh also spoke at the ceremony, reading a proclamation from the city declaring April 28th as the Day of Mourning in Kelowna. The ceremony also featured a speech from Mark Johnson, who shared his story about a how a workplace injury at a sawmill at the age of 21 cost him the use of his left arm nine years ago.

While the overall message of the ceremony as to remember those who lost their lives while working, Stokes also said it was a good time to recommit to preventing future injuries and fatalities.

 

Just Posted

Community Leader Awards: Sheila Gardiner-Watt

The Kelowna Capital News celebrates those in the community who go above and beyond

Mamas for Mamas founder survives with new lease on life

Kelowna’s Shannon Christensen escaped a dangerous situation and lived to tell about it

Announced this week in Kelowna

A listing of some of the events that were announced in the Kelowna area this week

Big White ski instructor named Top 10 in Canada

Big White’s Josh Foster has been selected for the Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance (CSIA) Interski team

Kelowna restaurant hosts popular New York Chef

Need something to do this Valentine’s Day?

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Letter: Site C figures not correct

Kelowna letter-writer raises questions about the Site C dam project

Letter: Site C opponents are whining

If native treaty rights are being disrespected, just who is disrespecting them?

Albas: Canada Jobs program being politicized

Conservative MP Dan Albas’ weekly column takes on the student summer job plan

Fuhr: Pension for Life is a commitment to veterans

Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr talks about his government’s commitment to veterans

Coquihalla drivers prepare for snow

Wintry conditions persist, with snow warnings for Coquihalla

Rockets take down Royals

Kole Lind has four points and Jack Cowell scores twice as Rockets rebound from 7-2 loss at Seattle

Most Read