Real People – Real Impact

We often talk about statistics when we talk about workplace health and safety. Statistics give us an important look into the scale of the problem – we are hurting and killing too many people at work in this country – but they are impersonal and they don’t tell the full story. Behind every number is a person who has a family, friends, hobbies, ambitions and a whole future ahead of them. We can’t just talk about how many people are being injured at work or how many have lost their lives – we need to talk about how these tragedies affect real people every single day.

The interviews below feature real people whose lives have been forever altered because of a workplace tragedy.

Fred Broughton

Fred is a father who has experienced every parents biggest fear – having to bury their own child. Fred’s son Bruce was working across the country when he suffered a fatal fall on the job. Just days before Fred and his wife Eva were expecting Bruce to come back home, an RCMP officer showed up at their doorstep to deliver the terrible news.

When you hear the statistic – “15 young workers were killed in Alberta over a 3 year period” – think of Fred and Eva and remember that their story is not unique.

Daniel Shoemaker

Daniel was 23 years old with his whole life ahead of him when he suffered a traumatic and life-changing injury on the job. As you listen to Daniel’s story, think about all of the things you do with your hands and arms. Think about what it would be like to have to re-learn how to do all these things with just one (not naturally dominant) arm.

Daniel has gone on to do some great things with his life – training and competing with Canada’s National Paralympic Snowboard and Surfing Teams, speaking on behalf of Safety in Schools, WorkSafe BC and others, and, most recently, launching his own business connecting people with adaptive lifestyle products that assist them to participate in sport and other activities. Despite his success, if given the chance to go back, Daniel would have done everything he could to avoid the incident that cost him his arm.

Nicole Sereda

Nicole had just finished her Journeyman Certificate Program to become a licensed Heavy Duty Mechanic. She had worked hard to reach that milestone and was excited to begin her career. A helpful, hard-working individual, Nicole didn’t think anything of it when she decided to help out a driver making deliveries to her jobsite by helping him unload. She trusted that the load was properly secured and that the driver knew what he was doing.

The next thing she knew, she was on the ground with a loader arm on top of her and her body crushed. Think of Nicole next time you are asked to do a favour at work if it is a task that you don’t normally do.