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True Tales of Health and Safety

Poster of Trista

Trista's story:

My name is Trista Hughes. Three and a half years ago my brother Dylan died in his workplace. He was only 20. He was working for a big company. He was backing up on the forklift one day and the ramp gave out underneath him. The forklift fell and he fell out of it. It ended up landing on him and crushing his chest.

At school I got pulled into the principal's office. I saw my other brother sitting there crying and they told me. It was devastating. It was so hard on my whole family.

I miss his personality the most. I miss having him there just to pick a fight with or to sit down and have a conversation with. I just miss having him around.

He had a girlfriend of two and a half years at the time that he died. She was his soul mate. They were going to spend the rest of their lives together.

I think that if you're working someplace and you think that something is wrong or you know something that's dangerous you should speak up no matter what. It doesn't matter what it costs you, because it could cost you your life.

Dylan was my brother. He was an honest person. He was quiet. He was really just like the perfect person that you would want to get to know and sit down and have a conversation with. It's really hard. I miss him a lot.

Poster of andy Georges

Randy's Story

Eighteen-year-old Randy Georges never dreamed how his life would change on that day in 2002. He had just started a new part-time job at a popular restaurant where he worked in the kitchen.

Randy was asked to pour cooking oil through a filter in order to clean it,something he hadn't done before. Before starting to pour the oil he asked for a safety apron and gloves but was told they weren't necessary.

Unfortunately the boiling oil spilled and splashed all over him.He suffered third degree burns on his neck, chest, hands, stomach, groin and feet. He still suffers pain today as a result of this incident.

Randy's injury was completely preventable. He didn't know at the time that he had the right to refuse unsafe work.

It is Randy's hope that all young workers know their rights and that no one ever has to learn this in the painful way that he has.

Poster of andy Georges

Leonard's Story

Leonard's story will be added soon.

Poster of Michelle

Michelle's story:

My name is Michelle Isaacs. I lost my fianc´┐Ż Mike Burrasso who was 22 when he was electrocuted at work.

I was at Mike's house. I was supposed to pick him up and I was sitting in the living room of his house waiting for him to come home and, at 6:13, his uncle came into the kitchen - completely hysterical. I knew something was horribly wrong and when I ran outside a cop was in the garage talking to Mike's parents and I asked them what had happened to Mike? He told me "Mike had an accident at work. He's dead." In that split second my whole life changed.

We were together for two years. When I first met him I wasn't sure that I liked him. Within a few months, I knew that I was completely in love with him and I knew that he was the one I wanted to marry and spend my life with. Mike was very friendly. He had a lot of friends and a lot of people miss him. He touched a lot of lives.

When you go to work, make sure that you're safe. Have something explained to you three or four times if you have to so you understand what you're doing. Don't be afraid to speak up for yourself. It's your life. It's precious and fragile, and you should understand that. Take every precaution possible so that nothing happens to you.

With Mike, I never questioned how he felt about me. He always told me that he loved me and he was never afraid to hold my hand or hug me or give me a kiss.

I miss hearing his voice.

Poster of Michael Hickman

Michael Hickman - London

It was the day before Tim's birthday, I was expecting a phone call from him that day, so we could go out and celebrate. So I was shocked when I got a call from the hospital. Tim got in an accident at the arena where he worked. An ice-resurfacing machine exploded and he died ten days later, at the age of 21.

The ice-resurfacing machine had a major design flaw because no one took the time to step back and look at it to make sure it was safe. Whatever job you're doing, take those five, or fifteen seconds, stand back and have a second look and maybe, just maybe, you'll be able to prevent an accident. When I was younger, I would do work that wasn't the safest and I wouldn't say anything. But that doesn't solve the problem and it just put people that I was working with in the same situation. If you stand up and say, "I think this is unsafe," maybe you can find a way to improve it.

What I miss most is what I won't have. Those 50 years that I was supposed to spend with Tim, simple things, like sitting on a deck and relaxing with him or going to some graduation down the road- I'll miss things like that because someone just couldn't take the time.

Poster of James Wright

James Wright - Ottawa

It seemed like one hell of a good opportunity. I got a job as an apprentice tinsmith and was earning high school credits. Two weeks into the job, I fell fifty feet -five stories- off a ladder and now I'm paralyzed from the waist down. I was eighteen when it happened.

As it stands now, I'll be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. The fall shattered my lower spine and six years later I'm still in a lot of pain. Usually, I can only get three to five hours of sleep a night.

Getting hurt like I did, there are lots of things you miss out on. I was very active, I played a lot of sports, and now what I think I miss most is being able to go out and live free- I find that I'm always dependant on somebody.

After all that's happened, I don't feel resentful. I have a better understanding of what I lost and what I still have. I feel grateful to be still alive. An accident like that can happen so easily, at the snap of your fingers. So if you don't feel safe, tell your boss and ask for training. I never received any proper safety training, if I had, I might not have fallen off that ladder.

Poster of Dan Kramp Dan Kramp - Guelph

In August 1999, Dan Kramp was just 15 years old and working as a summer student at a meat processing plant. Dan's arm was caught in a meat auger, pulling him in from his fingertips to his shoulder. He is very lucky just to be alive and even after major restorative surgery has only limited use of his arm and hand. Dan is currently finishing high school.

Poster of Kevin Tremblay Kevin Tremblay - Debreuilville

In April 2000, Kevin Tremblay was 17 and working in a local sawmill when he became entangled in some ropes, falling and breaking his leg. He fell onto a conveyor belt, which dragged him 75 feet, aggravating the already severe injury to his leg. Kevin was in a wheelchair for several months and used crutches for six more months. He hopes to one day be able to play hockey again.

Poster of Megan Roblin Megan Roblin - St. Catharines

In October 1999, Megan Roblin was 17 and working at a plant that manufactures filters. The punch press she was using was not properly guarded and as a result, Megan lost the tips of three fingers. Today, Megan has returned to school and encourages other young people to ask safety-related questions, particularly when working with unfamiliar machinery.

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