01/07/2016 14:26 EST | Updated 01/07/2017 00:12 EST

Construction safety still a concern, 35 years after fatal accident: BC Fed

VANCOUVER — The B.C. Federation of Labour says workers are safer than they were 35 years ago when four men died in a construction accident in downtown Vancouver.

But federation president Irene Lanzinger says more still needs to be done since the men fell 36 floors to their deaths on Jan. 7, 1981.

She says labour organizations mark the tragedy every year as a reminder that the safety of workers can never be compromised.

Statistics over the last decade show fatal accidents or occupational diseases have killed an average of 32 general construction workers annually.

Lanzinger says more than 1,000 construction workers have died in British Columbia in the three-and-a-half decades since the Vancouver accident.

Gunther Couvreux, Brian Stevenson, Donald Davies and Yrijo Mitrunen, all between the ages of 21 and 49, died when a platform hanging off the side of the partially-built Bentall Tower collapsed.

The Canadian Press