Day of Mourning
It's always a somber day for safety professionals on April 28. Day of Mourning, the day when Worker Fatalities are a constant hammer in the back of our minds. We try not to let it consume us as we still have a job to do. However, it still beat or minds into submission. For the ones who had a worker fatality on our job site it's even more prevalent. Remembering their face as we can still hear their voice can be overwhelming at times. Day of Mourning , a day when others remember as well. Yet the sad truth is a vast majority of the general population has no idea what Day of Mourning really is. Only afforded a few minutes on the late evening news, the events of the day unfold for others to see. Meanwhile ther hammer in the back of our minds is still a reminder of the ones who fell. As darkness falls over the city we catch ourselves staring off into nothing. Our minds working on what we could have done or will do better. Unfortunately we can't do it alone. More then one day needs to be a reminder of just how dangerous a worksite can be.
What is Day Of Mourning
Day of Mourning, on April 28 of EVERY year, a world-wide event takes place called Day of Mourning.We remember the workers who were fatally wounded due o their occupations on this day. The numbers are enormous. The financial cost is staggering. The loss to the family is the biggest factor. Directly affected people for every worker who has succumb to their injuries will average around 50. From their immediate family, to the neighbors and friend The coworkers in the company they have befriended and work with feel the pain. The gas station attendant who saw them all the time, and or coffee shop people that the worker talks to every morning while grabbing a coffee. Everybody feels that loss and hurt.
Industry leaders, government officials and guest speakers stand up and present ceremonies celebrating the lives of those who have fallen.Every government building lowers the Canadian flag. Most of all people's hearts feel sadness. Their minds reflect on the person, the accident, and what we need to do so the tragedy never happens again. The General Construction Industry, Sector 72, is one of the leading sectors of fatalities.
National Day of Mourning unites workers on health and safety
Apr 28: On the National Day of Mourning, Mary-Jaye Salmon shares the story of her father, who was killed on the job in 1968 as he drove to do a forestry presentation to loggers in Creston.
Labour groups gather to honor killed workers
VANCOUVER – The B.C. Federation of Labour is joining its counterparts and unions across Canada to honour workers killed or injured on the job.
WorkSafeBC, the Business Council of B.C. and politicians including Vancouver’s Mayor Gregor Robertson gathered Thursday as the Olympic cauldron was lit on the city’s waterfront to mark the annual Day of Mourning.
Similar ceremonies were held in communities around B.C. to pay tribute to workers whose lives cut short or altered forever.
WorkSafeBC says 122 workers died last year in B.C.. 50 of the deaths were from traumatic injuries. 72 deaths caused by occupational disease, mostly from exposure to asbestos decades earlier.
The flag at the B.C. legislature lowered to half-mast. Politicians joined others across the country to observe a moment of silence in support of workers.
Labour Minister Shirley Bond says. Workplace improvements have been made and everyone must work together to build a culture of safety that makes such tragedies a thing of the past.
The union representing Canada’s heat and frost insulators has called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to ban the use of asbestos. Adding exposure to the material remains the leading cause of work-related deaths in the country.
“Asbestos exposure affects everyone. Whether it’s workers, their family members or other Canadians who come into contact with workers following exposure” says Fred Clare. He is the Eastern Canada vice-president of the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers.
Tom Sigurdson, executive director of BC Building Trades, also says. The federal government must pass legislation banning the import and use of materials containing asbestos.
“It is unacceptable in this day and age that construction workers are still being exposed to deadly substances like asbestos,” he says.
Federal Labour Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk says. An average of nearly three workers across Canada die every day in workplace incidents and thousands suffer illness or injury.
“These tragedies remind us that there is still much work to do in the field of workplace health and safety in Canada,” she says.
“They also reaffirm the need for government, employers, unions and employees to work together to ensure all workers return home in good health at the end of the day.”
We Will Remember
Day of Mourning
Holland Park Memorial for a Flagger
Margareta (Maggie) Erin Feeley from Duncan BC was only a 29-year-old woman and a mother to three children. 10-year-old Sierra, eight-year-old Adrianna, and three-year-old Cassius will now grow up without their mom. Why? Because she wa
s crushed by a dump truck, and Tragically on October 24, 2013 after a courageous fight for her life, Maggie peacefully passed away. One has to wonder how a construction site accident happens like this. The eyes of the dump truck driver should have been on his rear view mirrors following direction of the flagger. Which no radio contact the only way of communication are hand signals. However sadly another young life is lost.
The night of the memorial at Holland Park, you could see flagging trucks for blocks. Amber rotators shining bright like the life of a lady who was taken far to soon. I didn't know her But i know others just like her. How many have to parish before things change. Only qualified people should be operating any kind of equipment, especially large trucks that can kill in a second.
From the CBC News British Columbia
Hundreds of traffic flaggers gathered at a candlelit vigil Sunday night to remember a 29-year-old Vancouver Island woman killed on the job last week.
Maggie Feeley, 29, died on Wednesday, two days after being struck by a fully loaded dump truck at a Duncan construction site. This occurred while directing a car out of a parking lot.
On Sunday night, trucks with flashing signs lined the streets around Surrey's Holland Park. The flaggers arriving in neon road gear and reflective clothing.
Diane Herback with the BC Flagging Association hopes the vigil will raise public awareness and respect for flaggers.
"The public walking through, motorists walking through people that are pushing their babies.. the construction equipment, the construction crew. How can we make it easier to keep track of everybody while keeping ourselves safe?" said Herback.
Feeley is the third B.C. flagger to die on the job in the past five years. This fact that seriously concerns former B.C. traffic flagger Shannon Chin, was injured on the job in June 2012.
Chin was the first person to light a candle at Feeley's vigil on Sunday and said she's upset. Feeley lost out on the rest of her life when the incident was so preventable.
"It's scary — everyone needs to step up. Flaggers need to pay attention and dump truck drivers need to do walk-arounds. They can't always see in their mirrors," said Chin.
So What Happened
Chin was hit by a dump truck when it backed over her in North Vancouver. Dragged more than nine meters between the rear passenger tires. Crushed from just above the waist and after more than 10 surgeries, she still isn't able to work. "Everyone just needs to slow down and pay attention. It's crew, it's public, it's everybody. We just need to raise awareness and have people come together and prevent this from happening again."
Flag person killed by car in Mission
Killed was a flag person when he was hit by a car Wednesday as he was controlling traffic at a construction site in the Fraser Valley.
Donald Cain was working at a construction site near Oliver Street and the Lougheed Highway in Mission when he was struck at about 8:15 a.m. PT.
Cain, 49, a father of two from Langley, unfortunately declared dead on arrival at Abbotsford Regional Hospital.
Police do not believe speed was a factor, but said that glare from the sun might have obscured the driver's vision.
"The sun at that time in the morning … is pretty low still and would have possibly played a factor," said Mission RCMP Sgt. Miriam Dickson.
Cain's supervisor disagreed with the police speculation.
"There was no sun involved," said Katherine Keras, owner of Pro-Safe Traffic Service. "He's driving north to south. This was not an incident of sun."
Cain was standing on the shoulder of the road when he was hit, Keras said.
Traumatized were two other employees after witnessing Cain's death and she pleaded with drivers to pay attention while going through construction zones.
"Get off the phone, quit doing what you're doing for two, three minutes," said Keras. "It's not that much to ask."
With files from the CBC's Wilson Wong
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