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On National Day of Mourning, let's stop workplace deaths, says bereaved father

04/28/2015 03:40 EDT | Updated 08/02/2015 06:59 EDT
As Canada marks the National Day of Mourning, with ceremonies held throughout the country on April 28 to remember workers that have died on the job, we speak to a bereaved father, six years on.

Phil Huxley often finds himself wondering what if — what if his son Ryan hadn't looked back while driving through a mud puddle at work, crashing into a semi-trailer?

Ryan, then 26 years old and working at a nursery, died following the accident in 2009.

"It's not over. It's six years now and we still deal with it daily," Huxley told The Early Edition's Rick Cluff.

Huxley uses the National Day of Mourning to share Ryan's story to underline the importance of safety on the job.

"We're trying to find something positive in his passing. The National Day of Mourning becomes a way for me to represent my son, so that it's not just something that's put away and forgotten about."

Saving just one young person

Huxley said workplaces need better follow through for safety training, and workers need to have ways to follow up if they feel they are ill-equipped to safely perform tasks.

"What often happens is you plan on training a person and you allot a certain amount of time to show them what to do and something else interferes, so they end up with a little two-minute spiel and they end up going, 'Uh, what do I do now?'"

Huxley said the National Day of Mourning has also helped him connect with other families who have lost people to workplace accidents, and has helped them move past the tragedies together.

"If I can help just one more young person stay alive, I feel I've done something positive to make it work."

To hear the full interview with Phil Huxley, listen to the audio labelled: National Day of Mourning - one father's story

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