COVID-19 crisis brings worker safety to the forefront as the Okanagan marks Day of Mourning

Click to play video: 'Day of Mourning highlights work safety amid pandemic' Day of Mourning highlights work safety amid pandemic
Day of Mourning highlights work safety amid pandemic – Apr 28, 2020

This is not a typical Day of Mourning in the Okanagan.

A crowd usually gathers at Kelowna’s Ben Lee Park to hear from speakers and remember those who have died or been hurt as the result of injuries or illness related to their work.

However, physical distancing measures designed to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus have made that type of memorial impossible this year.

Instead a video marking the day is being released online.

READ MORE: Recognizing the health-care workers on the front lines of B.C.’s coronavirus outbreak

Ian Gordon, head of the North Okanagan Labour Council, said he will be taking the day “to remember all those workers that have paid the price for going to work and getting injured.”

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The COVID-19 crisis, Gordon says, has put an even greater emphasis on personal safety at work.

“[COVID-19] drives the point home that we have to be aware of our own safety and not take risks that will injure ourselves and others,” Gordon said.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: 25 workers at Coquitlam, B.C., poultry plant test positive

Last year, 140 people in B.C. were killed on the job or died from illnesses or injuries related to their work.

Gordon hopes a focus on workplace safety can prevent workplace-related COVID-19 deaths from driving that number up this year.

READ MORE: Employer still not letting you work from home? How to navigate coronavirus office upheaval


A video marking the Day of Mourning in British Columbia will be released Tuesday morning at

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