Today we learned that five people lost their lives due to the tragic crane collapse in Kelowna, and that more were injured. The BC Federation of Labour offers its heartfelt condolences to the families, friends, and colleagues of those five individuals who never returned home from work yesterday, as well as to those dealing with injuries and trauma from this catastrophic workplace incident.
We continue to call for a thorough investigation by the RCMP, the Worker's Compensation Board (WCB) and the BC Coroners Service to determine contributing factors to ensure this never happens again. While more detail comes to light, we urge the WCB to issue hazard alerts to all crane operating organizations.
As we receive more information about what led to this horrendous incident, we are resolved to ensure the fundamental right of every worker to work in a safe environment and return to their families at the end of every day. It is a stark reminder of the need for proactive and effective occupational health and safety regulations and compassionate, worker-centred support from the WCB for workers and families that experience workplace injuries.