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)

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.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Hal Brindley - Dreamstime)
Enderby farmers caught between coyotes and bylaw tickets

The Smith family is stuck in a Catch-22 between protecting their livestock and incurring noise complaints

Barley Station Brewpub’s owners Stu and Kathy Bradford and longtime head chef Wally Bonn celebrated 15 years in business on Saturday, Jan. 23. (Jim Elliot/Salmon Arm Observer)
Snapshot: Salmon Arm’s Barley Station Brewpub celebrates 15th year in business

The highwayside pub is lookign forward to the future.

The Salmon Arm Elks Lodge kept up their charitable giving despite COVID-19 restrictions by holding a successful 50/50 draw. (Jim Elliot-Salmon Arm Observer)
Salmon Arm Elks support charitable giving with succesful 50/50 draw

The winner of the draw took home over $4,000.

Salmon Arm Mayor Alan Harrison is comfortable waiting his turn to be vaccinated for COVID-19, as per the B.C. government’s updated vaccination timeline released on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (File photo)
Province’s vaccine timeline a shot of hope for Salmon Arm mayor

Mayor Alan Harrison sees majority of residents taking precautions against COVID-19

Interior Health reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 and two new death in the region Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
79 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in Interior Health

Both of Friday’s deaths were both recorded at long-term care homes

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

A COVID-19 exposure has been confirmed at Black Mountain Elementary in Kelowna Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (Google Image)
Another COVID-19 exposure confirmed at Kelowna school

Interior Health confirmed an exposure at Black Mountain Elementary School Saturday

Members of BCEHS Station 343 in Lake Country receive a donation of treats and wine from the community in December. (Contributed)
‘Unexpected and heartwarming’: Okanagan community supports paramedics

Cards, discounts, treats, more given to Lake Country paramedics in sign of support

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

The North Okanagan Naturalists' Club completed its annual swan and eagle counts Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. (Claude Rioux - NONC photo)
North Okanagan bird count shows decrease in swan and eagle numbers

Trumpeter swans were down 61 per cent from last year’s count; eagles down 14 per cent

Okanagan Indian Band Chief Byron Louis has served as the band’s chief since his first of six electoral wins in 1991. (File photo)
Okanagan Indian Band seeks nominations for upcoming election

A new OKIB chief and council will be elected March 30, 2021

Lake Country firefighters helped deliver a healthy newborn baby Thursday, Jan. 21, 2020. (Pixabay)
Lake Country firefighters help deliver baby boy

Firefighters from the Winfield hall assisted with the birth of a healthy newborn Thursday morning

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

Skaha Middle School
Arrest made in indecent acts near South Okanagan schools

A 32-year-old man was arrested and released on strict conditions, say police

Most Read