Editorial: Better workers’ safety needed

Editorial comment is made in acknowledgement of April 28 Day of Mourning for killed/injured workers

As technology races ahead and people race to keep up with it, it’s sometimes said that things were better the way they used to be. This kind of comment may come from any generation and can be expected when the speaker comes up against their own wall – their own learning saturation point.

Newer may not always be better, but there is one category where older is worse… hands down. In terms of workers’ safety the good old days were terrible.

A lot of progress has been made over the years… since child labour laws were enacted… or since people mined asbestos with nothing in the way of a mask. But it’s clear that more effort is required in order to allow more workers to safely make it home from the job site.

The International Day of Mourning for workers killed or injured on the job was observed this past Monday and a small, respectful group was on hand.

Organizers were grateful for those who had shown up, but a local spokesperson was curious why so little attention is paid to the event, especially when considering the large number of industrial-type jobs being done in places like Castlegar and Trail. Maybe a person just has to know, or be related to someone who has lost their life or their health due to workplace issues before they recognize just how serious the situation is in many cases.

Given all the progress made since the workplace carnage of the dark ages, can workers still get killed on the job? Last year in British Columbia,  the families, friends and co-workers of 128 found out that they can, and still do.

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