National Day of Mourning

Every year on April 28th Occupational Safety Group holds a candle lit ceremony to commemorate those who have lost their lives to workplace illness or accidents. This year our staff, colleagues and members of London city council including Sandy White and Mayor Joe Fontana were in attendance to help us to reinforce the importance of safe communities in our community.

Here is a brief speech written by Jeff Thorne, Manager of Training and Consulting here at OSG.

“I thought about what I was going to discuss at this years ceremony and after the Easter long weekend at the cottage while pushing my girls on the swing, one thing came to mind, family, and my children. I have two wonderful girls, Taylor 4, and Julia 2. Both of them are feisty, independent, fun spirited kids just full of life.
I started to think that as a parent, we would do anything to protect our children from harm. From the day they are born, we start childproofing our homes. For example, I just removed Taylor’s bedrail the other week, at her request (because she’s the boss), and pillows now line the floor beside her bed. When thinking about my girls, I started to wonder, what will they be when they get older, what will our workplaces be like for them in 12 to 14 years when they enter the workforce? How safe will things be and how far will we have travelled down this “road to zero”? Will the numbers that have been presented today have significantly decreased? I also started to think, what would I ever do if I received a call saying that one of them was critically injured or worse, as a result of a workplace incident? A horrible thought, however, this Day of Mourning brings to light the reality of these tragedies.

Unfortunately, parents may lose their child and a child may lose their parent as a result of a workplace incident. We all must understand that these incidents affect more than just the injured or fallen worker, they affect family.

As a parent, I hope I am able to impart enough knowledge and awareness so that my kids are able to make educated “safe” decisions. As an educator, my thought is no different, OSG’s thought is no different.

Events such as the well publicized Metron Construction Corp scaffolding incident, where five migrant workers fell 13 stories killing four and seriously injuring oneor locally, Central Transport just around the corner here on Wilton Grove in early March of this year losing a 35yr old worker as a result of being pinned underneath a forklift. Both of these incidents are preventable and unacceptable. Both of these incidents are costly, to the employer, to fellow employees and to family.

Here is a quote from a friend of the victim;

“He was one of my best friends… and yes he was very respected and as you wrote a “top guy”. He was there for his friends, family and employers when it counted and even when it didn’t. Whatever did happen last night, the situation ended his life tragically. For those of us who knew and loved him we are deeply saddened by our loss but most of all the loss to his 2 year old daughter. For she was the reason he worked so hard! She was his reason for everything”

Family is important here at OSG as we are a family run organization, striving to ensure that workers and management are committed to the prevention of occupational injuries, fatalities and illness through proper training, education and awareness.

From our family to yours, we urge you to stay committed to prevention, for a better workplace today, tomorrow and the future.”

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