Wednesday, 24 August 2016 12:52

Worker safety critical issue as Labour Day approaches

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Enough just posting sad Facebook status’, shares or ‘Thumbs ups’ for yet another story of a Saskatchewan Working Class citizens dying trying to make a living. 
Have we become so accepting that some of our friends, families, and neighbours will be killed on the jobsite, that our outrage barely registers past a social media comment?
I am not writing here to point fingers at corporate greed, a lax safety culture, nor right or left politicians, there is plenty of blame to go around, some of which is rightfully placed at our own feet. This letter is not just rant about our self professed impotence in dealing with yet another systemic problem rooted in our modus operandi. 
What I hope to ignite is a real conversation about our core beliefs pertaining to our social responsibility and commitment to worker safety as the paramount concern for any business in this province.
Every April 28, our National Day of Mourning, too many names are read aloud from the register of the Roll Call of the Fallen; too many candles are lit to represent yet another life’s light that was extinguished, leaving the families of the passed sisters and brothers in the shadow of a future without their loved one. It should be our societal shame that we continue to lose people when we clearly have not done enough to change the culture of passive acceptance to this atrocious trend.
It is time for us to demand real change, a proper accounting of the cost of business when a life is taken. Of course not just some financial penalties, but a realization and commitment to the principle that safety is paramount, regardless of costs. 
Training and safety measures must be strengthened by every employer, while third-party inspections must also be increased and more thorough. Our communities should have every right to demand and enforce higher safety, environmental, and social license standards of business that wish to operate in them. Part of this change is re-assessing how we understand industries relationships to our society and our expectations of those relationships.
Too much is at stake to continue down our current path, too many lives are at risk.
Chris Mulhall, Wymark, Sask.

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