It’s a story that still haunts me. Michael Skandenberg was killed at work, electrocuted while changing school lighting ballasts. His mother Cindy started speaking out in 1999 about safety on the job.
I was thinking of the story as Tami Helgeson recalled the 1999 death of her 20-year-old son Eric. He was working on a construction project on the south Perimeter Highway when a crane tipped over. A sub-contactor failed to do the proper procedure to lift a beam into place and the crane tipped over, killing Eric.
“I’m well past the everyday of crying,” Helgeson says. “I always said this could never happen to me. Eric was doing everything right but somebody else on the site for one split second decided not to do their job.”
Tami will participate in the Steps for Life Walk in Winnipeg this Sunday at Kildonan Park.
Kevin Rebeck, president of the Manitoba Federation of Labour says there are safer work environments in Manitoba. Still, seven workers were killed on the job in 2015 and another 12 died from occupational illnesses.