Respect gained for workplace hazards

  • May. 18, 2011 5:00 p.m.

A somber ceremony was happened upon while heading to Journey Middle School last month on an un-related matter.

Catherine Alpha’s grade-6 class was gathered on April 28 where the flags fly just south of the building itself.

A yellow flag had been raised as part of a CUPE-staged effort signifying an annual day of mourning for those who have lost their lives or were injured in workplace incidents.

The Journey Middle School Students were hearing of an especially wrenching incident that had inspired the so-called “Grant de Patie Law.”

Grant de Patie was the young gas station employee in Maple Ridge who had been dragged to death several years ago after trying to stop a motorist from fleeing the station without paying for his purchase.

“The numbers are staggering,” states the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety on its website.

“In 2009, 939 workplace deaths were recorded in Canada – down from 1,036 the previous year. This represents more than 2.57 deaths every single day.

In the 17-year period from 1993 to 2009, 15,129 people lost their lives due to work-related causes (an average of 889 deaths per year).

The experience apparently made a significant impact on the students, eight of whom were later eager to comment on it.

Each was asked for their personal impression, their opinion on the issue of workplace safety.

Matt Holmes –

“I was just glad that they put up a law to protect workers.”

The de Patie-related legislation had mandated that all-night places of business not be staffed by a lone attendant, that at least two be on site. This stipulation, according to some, has not since been universally followed.

Bobby Nex –

“It was very nice to honour the workers. I think not many people will do this because it’s optional. Not a lot of people will honour others, unless it’s related to them.”

Haley McEachen –

“I thought it was a really good thing to do, to recognize the people who have died working for different companies.”

Jennifer Laharty

“It was good to remember, and I was kind of surprised that there weren’t any laws that protected younger people, or a lot of women.” Jennifer said she felt there should be stronger laws protecting younger people and women in the workplace.

Ty Boake –

“I really respect the young workers who dedicated their lives to help us and make the environment a better place, like the young man who got run over because he tried to stop someone from stealing gas.”

Spencer Leslie –

“I just think it’s a nice day to honour the people who died. And I think we should remember women’s rights as well as men’s… and honour them.”

Hannah Dumont

“I think it’s a really good thing to have a day to remember the people who have died on the job, especially the young ones who have lost their lives at a young age.”

Katie Haulahan

“I think not that many people know about it, because they’re not working. But when they start to work they’ll see the dangers for younger workers because they don’t have as much experience and they don’t get told all they need to know about the dangers.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

SD62 bus driver Kerry Zado said it’s common to see drivers lose their patience and pass by his bus while he’s picking up students during the morning commute. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
School bus driver laments motorists who pass while red lights are flashing

All buses in Sooke School District outfitted with stop sign cameras

Nearly 2000 BC Hydro customers in East Sooke lost power around 1 p.m. on Jan. 20. (BC Hydro)
UPDATE: Power restored to nearly 2000 East Sooke residents after blasting

Blasting caused power pole to move and faulted the circuit Wednesday

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

Victoria police are seeking home surveillance video and witnesses following a prowling incident in Esquimalt Jan. 20. (Black Press Media file photo)
Esquimalt prowler removes air conditioner, peers into person’s home

VicPD is seeking video footage, witnesses following Jan. 20 incident

The Victoria Fire Department extinguished a 15 foot tent fire in the 500-block of Ellice Street Jan. 19. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Victoria police investigating after 15-foot flames engulf tent

Flames damage nearby business in 500-block of Ellice Street

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

A suspect has been arrested in connection with fires at Drinkwater Elementary (pictured) and École Mount Prevost. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Arson suspect arrested after fires at Cowichan Valley schools

Drinkwater Elementary and Mount Prevost schools hit within a week

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Nanaimo RCMP are seeking the public’s help after a man allegedly assaulted a clerk at James General Store on Victoria Road on Jan. 18. (Submitted photo)
Suspect screams at customer then assaults store clerk in Nanaimo

RCMP asking for information about Jan. 18 incident at James General Store

Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)
Two Nanaimo care-home residents have died during COVID-19 outbreak

Death reported Monday was the second related to Chartwell Malaspina outbreak, says Island Health

Rod Bitten of Union Bay won $500,000 in the Lotto Max draw on Jan. 15. Photo supplied
Vancouver Island electrician gets shocking surprise with $500K Extra win

Rod Bitten has been hard at work with home renovations, which is… Continue reading

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Oyster River Fire Rescue members were called out to a suspicious fire in Black Creek. Two vehicles parked at a private residence were destroyed by fire. Photo courtesy Oyster River Fire Rescue
Suspicious fire destroys two vehicles at Vancouver Island residence

Oyster River Fire Rescue personnel were dispatched to a fire at a… Continue reading

Most Read