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

Author donates half of funds to a Kelowna foundation

Steena Holmes is donating half the funds raised from her paperback sales

Truck smashes into tree in West Kelowna

The truck was reported to be driving erratically before the crash

Road work closes a section of Richter Street in Kelowna

Installation of a new water main has closed the portion between Stockwell and Cawston Avenues

New summer bus route for West Kelowna

Gellatly Road service expanded on weekends, holidays

Paynter’s market is officially re-open

The West Kelowna staple is open again for the summer season

In reversal, Trump signs executive order to stop family separation

President had been wrongly insisting he had no choice but to separate families apprehended at border

Hergott, does he hate cell phones?

Lawyer Paul Hergott puts to rest the argument he has something against a handheld device

UPDATED: Polygamous wife appeals conviction in B.C. child bride case

Emily Blackmore was found guilty of taking her underage daughter to U.S. to marry church leader

B.C. sets deadline for Indigenous salmon farm consent

All 120 operations will need agreements by 2022, province says

Family of 4 from Oregon believed to be missing in northern B.C.

RCMP, Search and Rescue crews searching area where vehicle was abandoned

Pickle Ball Depot picks up award

Vernon business earns Business Examiner’s Retailer of the Year

B.C. creates public registry to track real estate owners

The first registry of its kind in Canada aims to end the hidden property ownership

BC SPCA receives 400 reports of dogs in hot cars so far this year

Society is again urging people to leave their pets at home if they can’t keep them safe in the heat

Penticton to host first Okanagan Medicinal Cannabis Conference

The September event will address many aspects regarding the access and use of medicinal cannabis.

Most Read