Remembering Workers Who Died On The Job

Durham, ON, Canada / channel12

Each year hundreds of Canadian’s are injured or killed on the job.  Thousands across Canada are remembering and honouring them today on National Day of Mourning.

Al Brunt, his son was killed while training as a firefighter:

“He was a son whose life goal was to help other people.  What better way to do it then a first responder. Unfortunately it cost him his life.”

It was an emotional day for Brunt and his family as they remember their 30 year old son, Adam Brunt who was killed last year while doing ice water rescue training.

“He got trapped under the ice, but the downside of it all is no spotters with 12 students, no safety plan, no safety gear handy, not even a cell phone to call 911.  Time is of the essence.  It took too long.”

Brunt joined more than 100 people at the Day of Mourning Parkette at Oshawa City Hall to remember those who have lost their lives or suffered injury or illness on the job or due to a work-related tragedy.

In 2014, 919 workplace deaths were recorded in Canada-more than 2.5 deaths every day.  Among the 919 dead were 25 workers aged 20 to 24 years.

Last Friday night a 24 year old employee at Toronto Pearson International Airport died after the luggage cart he was driving rolled over and ejected him onto the tarmac.  The victim was Ian Henry Pervez.  His funeral was today.  Rob Halpin, Director of Research and Education with the Ontario Federation of labour says 230 thousand individuals according to the WSIB suffer occupational injury, or die or illnesses.

“On Christmas Eve in 2009, 5 workers fell from a scaffold in Toronto.  Just this year the courts charged and sent the Manager from Metron Construction to jail for the death of those workers.  It was completely preventable.”

Jennifer French, Oshawa MPP:

“When we talk about health and safety need to be talking about whole body in terms of mental injury as well as physical injury.  “How do we support them, look after those who are suffering and I think that’s a really big part of this.”

Six years ago the Ontario Federation of Labour launched a campaign, called Kill a worker go to jail.  Halpin says they wish they didn’t have to have such a campaign but he says it’s imperative that they draw attention to this.

He says today isn’t just about mourning the dead but also about fighting for the living.

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