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

Interior Health managers voice discontent

Negative comments about work culture aimed at CEO Chris Mazurkewich.

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Kelowna - Students were unaware of resources on campus

Video: Bulky bobcat goes for a stroll

Bob Lindley shared a video of a sneaky bobcat strolling through his yard in Vernon.

Cops report explosion in number of thefts from vehicles in Central Okanagan

In just the first 2 1/2 weeks of 2018, the number has nearly tripled in Kelowna and West Kelowna

Kelowna and West Kelowna’s unsolved crimes of the week

RCMP are searching for a fraud suspect and vandal suspect in this week’s unsolved crimes

Kelowna’s Ursel to coach host team at Olympics

Bob Ursel is headed to the Olympics with South Korea’s national men’s curling team

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here’s how

Secretary of homeland security explains a new policy that let’s border guards check phones

‘Beautiful writer’ Nancy Richler dies of cancer in Vancouver hospital

Montreal-born author spent most of her adult life in B.C. as a fiction writer and novelist

B.C. commuters vote to rename bus service to ‘Jeff’

The company asked and the people of Facebook answered

EDITORIAL: With harassment allegations, students deserve better at UBCO

The lack of communication with students isn’t good enough for the Kelowna campus

Physical altercation turns to online threats in Celista

Police were called to a Shuswap ice rink after a group of men physically fought each other

Arson suspect heads to court

Vernon man suspected of starting a string of 2014 fires in Vernon

Opinion: Dare to be smarter

Just say no works for more than just substance abuse

Most Read