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Workplace safety urged on Day of Mourning

Grande Prairie workers and employers are being reminded to make safety a priority. April 28th marks the National Day of Mourning, and a ceremony was held Friday morning at the Safety City memorial site.

Across Canada, the day is meant to honour workers who have lost their life, been injured, or fallen ill on the job. Grande Prairie Regional Safety Committee chair Kendall Kenig says she also hopes it puts things in focus.

“People get complacent all the time at work. We are always rushing around to get things done and we’re stressed out so we’re panicking, and that’s when things happen. Use the Day of Mourning as a reminder to be safe every day.”

In Alberta alone, 166 lives were lost to workplace-related injuries and illnesses in 2017. Of those, 90 were occupational illnesses like cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma, stemming from working in hazardous conditions years ago.

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Efforts don’t just end with the Day of Mourning. A Steps for Life walk is being held in Grande Prairie on Saturday, May 5th. Kenig says the funds raised go to Threads of Life, which people affected by workplace tragedies.

“You meet like-minded people who are going through close to the same thing or some of the same things you’re going through. I think it’s really important to come out and show your support for Steps of Life, just because you’re supporting those people and their families who have lost something important to them.”

The walk will be held at Muskoseepi Park, with registration at 10 a.m.

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