A goal of zero workplace injuries and fatalities

Posted by Rumin Mann
May 3rd, 2011

Victoria paralympian Jessica Vliegenthart shares the story of how she got injured on-the-job with the crowd that gathered at the Forest Workers’ Memorial Park, Thursday, April 28, for the annual Day of Mourning.

No workplace-related deaths or injuries.

Highlighting tragedies of the past, those attending the annual Day of Mourning ceremony at the Forest Workers’ Memorial Park, Thursday, April 28, have set this ambitious goal.

“We need to educate our workers and let them know that they don’t have to be in harm’s way,” Nanaimo Labour Council president Ellen Oxman said, during the ceremony around the forest Workers’ Memorial Park fountain.

Putting statistics to workplace deaths and injuries, Worksafe BC investigating officer Mohinder Bhatti said that there were 143 workers in the province that died of work-related injury, illness, or disease.

“These deaths are more than statistics,” she said.

Although these are the lowest rates in Canada, she said that there shouldn’t be any at all.  Mistakes of the past are still being paid for today, she said. Occupational diseases that are a result of asbestos and other hazardous material exposure, even decades ago, are still affecting people.

“Even a small particle inhaled…. That person can develop a deadly form of lung cancer,” she said.

“Prevention, that is our goal,” she concluded.

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