Sunday, April 28, 2019 was the National Day of Mourning, and the Olympic Cauldron in Vancouver was lit to mark the day. Deceased workplace accident victims were honoured in memorial services across the province. Hundreds of surviving family members, workers and union leaders paid tribute to victims who succumbed to work-related injuries or illnesses.
Workers in most industries in British Columbia are entitled to workers' compensation benefits. Some employers will do anything to avoid paying a victim of a workplace accident, but injured workers should not give up. Legal counsel is available to fight for the rights to compensation.
With the fresh legalization of cannabis for recreational use, employers and employees in British Columbia might have concerns about how cannabis use will affect work environments. WorkSafeBC has launched an educational awareness campaign dealing with cannabis impairment and potential workplace accident incidents. Some of the radio advertisements broadcast in Vancouver will be in Mandarin, Cantonese and Punjabi to capture a wide range of audiences.
A British Columbia family who lost a loved one who died an unexpected death in March last year might be able to move forward after a year of battling with unanswered questions. Workplace accidents can be particularly traumatic because investigations can take many months before the cause of the incident is officially determined. However, dependents of deceased workers need not wait until WorkSafeBC's inquiries are completed before seeking workers' compensation benefits.
Safety advocates expressed their concern about the rate of fatalities in the construction industry. At the annual commemoration of a 1981 workplace accident in Vancouver when a construction platform collapsed, surviving family members of four workers who died there came together. However, the alarming truth revealed by the building-trades council is that 1,000 more British Columbia construction workers have been killed in occupational accidents since that tragedy.
Stories of young workers killed or injured while on the job are becoming increasingly common. One recent case involves a young man who lost his life in a workplace accident in Chilliwack, B.C.
Employees in British Columbia benefit from laws set in place for their protection while on the job. For those engaged in one of the province's most hazardous careers - asbestos removal - questions about enforceability have been an ongoing concern. A new ruling has now given workers new hope in a business where the risk of fatal workplace accidents remains high.
On February 2nd, a 31-year old British Columbia man died in a work-related accident after a ladder the man was in contact with touched a power line. The 31-year old Nanoose Bay man was working on an apartment building when he was electrocuted. His co-worker, who was also in contact with the ladder when it touched the live wires, was also affected, but was airlifted to a nearby hospital with minor injuries.
Sometimes it takes a tragedy before major change can take place. After a fatal workplace accident that took the life of her boyfriend, one Vancouver Island woman is calling for changes to construction safety regulations. By all appearances, proper safety measures were in place, but they weren't enough to prevent this fatal accident.
To enter into certain trades and professions is to accept a heightened degree of risk for personal injury. For example, a career as a firefighter or logger carries with it a known element of danger. Naturally, all possible efforts should be made to minimize hazards at work. Such has been the case in the construction industry, where changes to regulations have been ongoing in hopes of preventing workplace accidents.