Workplace accidents and exposures to hazardous substances in workplaces take loved ones, friends and colleagues away from us each day. Some die on the job as a result of a catastrophic situation that takes life almost immediately or very shortly after the accident. Many others die years later from the adverse effects of exposure to a hazardous substance such as asbestos. In any case it is not uncommon for Ontario to witness one worker succumb to workplace injury, exposure or illness for each day of the year.
For the Labour Movement and the Grey Bruce Labour Council there is nothing more important than the health and safety of workers in any and all workplaces. It is the health and safety of workers that gave birth to organized labour. Health and Safety is in the DNA of unions and labour councils and when there is any death or illness or both, it strikes at the core of who we are. It is this fundamental value in the Labour Council and across the union movement that symbolizes the sentiment that “an injury to one is an injury to all”.
The Grey Bruce Labour Council became aware of the loss of a worker in Bruce County on June 14th. Investigations and various processes will address the questions of what happened. No one should attempt to speculate on what happened. We can be very thankful that occupational health and safety law in Ontario ensures that a fulsome investigation will take place and workers will be part of this.
Kevin Smith, President of the Grey Bruce Labour Council, speaking on behalf of the thousands of workers represented by the Labour Council notes, “as union activists and witness to workplace carnage only too often, we are all too familiar with the pain that the family, friends and colleagues are experiencing as a result of this tragedy. Our experience commits our expression of sorrow and condolences to be tearful and profoundly heartfelt. May the memory of your loved one be a blessing”