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Fort McMurray honours fallen, injured employees at Day of Mourning ceremony

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When Brandon Nelson arrived at Suncor’s base plant final July, nobody thought he would by no means go residence once more.

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Sooner or later on the morning of July 7, 2022, Nelson was killed in an accident at a shovel upkeep pad. Nelson was a journeyman mechanic with Komatsu Canada. He had turned 26 5 days earlier. The incident remains to be being investigated by Alberta Occupational Well being and Providers (OHS) and no fees have been laid but.

Nelson’s mother-in-law, Vicky Anger, instructed dozens of individuals about Nelson on the Nationwide Day of Mourning at J. Howard Pew Park final Friday. A standard theme amongst audio system is how deaths and accidents within the office could be sudden, and that employees have to look out for one another on the job.

“We don’t know what number of days we have now on this Earth and all I can say is love your loved ones on a regular basis,” mentioned Anger. “We by no means anticipated Brandon to depart, we thought he had a lot of life to stay. However, he did work arduous and he performed arduous and he lived a variety of life in his younger years and I wouldn’t want this on anyone.”

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April 28 marks a nationwide day of mourning for employees who’re injured or killed whereas working. Nelson was one in every of 161 Albertans who was killed in a workplace-related accident or sickness in 2022.

The annual occasion was acknowledged formally by the Canadian authorities in 1991, eight years after the day of remembrance was launched by the Canadian Labour Congress. It’s held each April 28.

Throughout Canada and Fort McMurray Wooden Buffalo, flags had been flown at half-mast from dawn to sundown on authorities buildings and at public areas. At ceremonies, black armbands are worn and a second of silence is noticed.

“My title is on a roll I want I wasn’t a part of,” mentioned James Reid, an electrician who fell 15 ft in 2008. Reid landed on concrete and for a time, there have been considerations he would by no means stroll once more. “At 37 years outdated, being instructed you may by no means stroll once more or be capable to help your loved ones is one thing you shouldn’t be having to listen to.”

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Reid was recognized with PTSD after the accident. He’s pissed off with how his case has been dealt with by the Staff’ Compensation Board. He’s nonetheless in fixed ache from the accident and attends physiotherapy.

“We will survive these accidents, we will go ahead, however there’s different situations we have now to cope with on a regular basis,” mentioned Reid.

Almost a dozen individuals representing employees, labour actions and the municipality spoke on the ceremony. Dozens of individuals laid flowers at a cenotaph on the park commemorating injured and killed employees. A lunch on the Royal Canadian Legion adopted.

Keith Plowman of the Fort McMurray Building Affiliation urged employees to demand protected workplaces that won’t punish employees for talking out.

“In spite of everything lives may very effectively rely upon what they must say,” he mentioned.

“Actuality continues to bolster that we should be diligent in making certain security on the finish of each workday,” mentioned Tamera Madden of the Wooden Buffalo Regional Security Committee.

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