Okanagan Traffic Control Professionals owner Traci Jeeves laments the loss of friend and former employee Belle Bourroughs to a workplace accident, while paying respect to all those who have been killed or injured on the job during Salmon Arm’s Day of Mourning ceremony held Friday morning, April 27 at Marine Park. The National Day of Mourning, held April 28, commemorates workers who have been killed, injured or suffered illness due to workplace related hazards and incidents. (Lachlan Labere/Salmon Arm Observer)

Editorial: Eliminate need for Day of Mourning

It is crucial to remain vigilant in ensuring that workers are protected from injury

Life can change in an instant.

Although it’s often true that little can be done in that instant, much can be done beforehand.

This year, a Day of Mourning service was held in many communities in B.C. and across Canada to remember workers killed on the job.

Also remembered are those who have been injured or became ill on the job or because of a work-related accident.

In the Shuswap over the past few years, we have heard the names of Grant De Patie, who was killed on the job at a Lower Mainland service station but whose family lives in the Shuswap; Shane Gorner, who died in an industrial accident in Salmon Arm; Devon Smith, who was injured but survived an accident fixing fences on a family farm near Enderby; and Belle Bourroughs, who was struck and killed by a vehicle while flagging in Lavington.

These tragic losses cannot be measured in words.

As well as fatalities, nearly 250,000 claims were accepted by the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada for lost time due to a work-related injury or disease. But these statistics don’t portray the number of people’s lives forever affected by these tragedies – the lives of families, friends and co-workers.

As the world of business speeds up and the value of individual human beings, interactions and connections appears to become less important, it is even more crucial to remain vigilant in ensuring that workers are protected from injury. Often it is the poor and already marginalized who become the victims of cost-cutting.

States the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety:

“It is the hope… that the annual observance of this day will help strengthen the resolve to establish safe and healthy conditions in the workplace, and prevent further injuries and deaths. As much as this is a day to remember the dead, it is also a call to protect the living and make work a place to thrive.”

Just Posted

Salmon Arm RCMP seeking car involved in hit and run

Small blue car struck a young man near Okanagan Avenue and 20 Street Monday

Phone scam uses false RCMP ID on call display

North Okanagan RCMP say there are applications that allow people to change, hide call display info

Dog control ramping up on Okanagan Rail Trail

RDNO taking extra precautions to ensure dogs remain on leash

Shuswap homing pigeon in need of new abode

Carrier pigeon wearing outdated identification band takes up residence in Yankee Flats

Fears that speculation tax, if imposed, could kill Shuswap tourism

Regional district directors wrestle with concern of seasonal residents leaving the area

VIDEO: Rare close encounter with whale pod spotted off B.C. waters

Pod of southern resident orca whales breach within arms length of whale watchers

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

Okanagan College student population climbs

Enrolment up nearly 14 per cent

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

Coldstream supports Okanagan College Campus residence project

Project would see a 100-bed residence on the Vernon campus in Coldstream

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

Okanagan show supports youth mental health, suicide prevention

Robb Nash will be performing Oct. 2 and 3 at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre

Most Read