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A Day of Mourning

Last year 188 workers lost their lives on the job in B.C. That number is unacceptable.

Last year 188 workers lost their lives on the job in B.C. That number is unacceptable.

April 28 was the National Day of Mourning - a day to commemorate workers who have been injured, killed or suffered illness as a result of occupational accidents and hazards.

A ceremony of remembrance and reflection was held in Dougall Park. As in year's past, speakers were on hand with personal stories of loss and tragedy.

One speaker touched our hearts and minds in a special way.

Mike Davis from the B.C. Ferry and Marine Workers Union spoke about his dad and the tremendous loss he and his family felt when his dad was killed on the job when Davis was only 13.

Davis brought his two sons to the ceremony. He felt it was important for them to be at the ceremony to learn and reflect.

Davis called upon the provincial government to take a tougher stand. Employers have to be held accountable for their actions, and employees have to be given the necessary tools and safety tips so they return home from the job safely every day.

Davis said he's now become an advocate for health and safety because in some ways if his actions can prevent some unnecessary pain and suffering for others, he can heal himself.

The National Day of Mourning focuses attention on these tragic statistics and reminds us that there is still work to be done in the area of workplace health and safety.

In order for that work to happen, we all have to take an active role. Let your politicians at the local, provincial and federal levels know that tougher legislation is needed.

We attend this ceremony every year, but it's one we wish we didn't have to. Wouldn't it be something if one year we didn't have to talk about numbers like 188? It's up to all of us to help foster safe and healthy workplaces. If we all join the fight, maybe one year that number will be zero.

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