The International Day of Mourning for workers killed on the job was observed in Castlegar on at 5 p.m. Sunday, April 28 at Kinsmen Park, in a ceremony that took about a half an hour.
David Mitchell, with WorkSafeBC for 24 years, was one of the people to address those assembled.
“Today’s the day to mourn for those who’ve lost their lives at work,” he said, “people going to work just to earn a living… and then they don’t come home to their families. It’s pretty tragic.”
Mitchell pointed out that, “Last year most of the fatalities were related to asbestos, occupational disease.” He told the group of about 20 that while society is improving in terms of reducing traumatic injuries… occupational disease is, “pretty frightening… and it’s increasing.”
He continued, “Whenever someone is killed on the job in a traumatic injury, everybody knows and it’s pretty scary for those who are left behind at the workplace. Someone dies of an asbestos disease… they just go home. They go away. Often they’re pensioners, you don’t hear about it. It’s no less sad for the family.”
Another somber statistic mentioned by Mitchell was the fact that four workers under the age of 24 were killed last year in the province.”
A number of other speakers, including MLA Katrine Conroy, MP Alex Atamanenko and Nelson-based carpenter Dave Livingstone, rounded out the event, each calling for greater effort from governments on down, to work toward making the workplace a safer place for everyone.