Saskatoon residents gather to mourn those who died on the job

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Saskatoon residents gather to mourn those who died on the job

People gathered during a national day of mourning ceremony in Saskatoon Friday night to remember those who have died while on the job.

Thirty-one people died in the workplace or as a result of injuries sustained at work in Saskatchewan last year.

"I know you all feel as sickened as I do about that statistic," said Darrin Kruger, president of United Steelworkers Local 7552, to those gathered at the Masonic Temple. 

"There is no level of death or injury in the workplace that is acceptable."

One by one, the names of the deceased were read out during a candle-lighting ceremony. They ranged from a 19-year-old construction worker struck by a falling object to a 79-year-old maintenance person who died after being exposed to asbestos.  

A wreath-laying ceremony then followed.

Kruger said the last time he spoke at the event was in 2010, adding that there have been seven workplace deaths in the Saskatchewan potash industry since then. 

This year's National Day of Mourning marked the 25th anniversary of a fire that killed all 26 people working underground at the Westray Mine in Nova Scotia in 1992. The explosion was caused by a fatal buildup of methane gas and coal dust.