Today we learned that five people lost their lives, and more were injured due to the tragic crane collapse in Kelowna, BC. The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) extends its deepest condolences to the families, coworkers and friends of those people who didn’t return from work, as well as to those who suffered injuries and trauma as a result of this deadly workplace incident. Our thoughts are also with the people of Kelowna and British Columbia, whose lives have been impacted by this catastrophic workplace incident.
“Every workplace death is preventable. We will continue to fight to make sure that all workers can get home to their loved ones safely at the end of their workday,” said Bea Bruske, President of the CLC.
When this kind of tragedy happens, there are many questions that must be answered. A thorough investigation must be conducted, ensuring that key evidence is preserved. The RCMP must first rule out any potential criminality under the Westray sections of the Criminal Code of Canada. The Workers Compensation Board must also conduct a thorough parallel investigation with respect to provincial health and safety obligations. We also urge the investigators to reach out to the International Union of Operating Engineers, as a source of expertise to help inform the investigation.
When a worker is killed as a result of their job, we need to ensure that no stone is unturned in the investigations, to prevent future deaths and injuries, and if there is evidence of employer negligence, to hold those who are responsible accountable.