A sombre crowd gathered at the Workers' Memorial on Thursday, April 28 to remember workers killed on the job.
Many of the same faces have been marking this date together for years. In a small sign of hope for better days, the crowd grows each year. Today, it includes politicians from every party and every level of government. This is new. Maybe it means the message of safety is gaining traction. Maybe it means protections for people at work are becoming a higher priority.
It is disturbingly easy to find people who have suffered the death of a loved one at work locally. Two of these people described the crushing impact of workplace death on themselves, their families and their friends, and the lasting negative effects of preventable workplace accidents and deaths. They offered a sense of the questions, the frustrations, and the regrets that reverberate even years later. The offered stories of the senselessness of workplace deaths.
As much as it's important on April 28 to remember those who went to work and did not come home, our speakers remind us it is also a day to renew our push for safer working conditions to prevent further injuries, illnesses and death. Many of the attending politicians expressed their solidarity with the crowd and with all political parties to establish legislation to improve worker safety. The time is now. Let's see it happen.
Nancy Hutcheson is Vice President of ETFO-Waterloo Region.
For more photos from the event, see our Facebook page.
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