I’d like to share with you a personal story about my first time when I was at a Day of Mourning ceremony.
It was April 28, 2000 and I worked at Weyerhaeuser in Vavenby. We were told the story of a man named Corney Neufeld who took the finished loads of lumber away from the planer and put them out in the lumber yard.
A requirement of the job was to put four-by-four blocks on top of the loads so as to double stack the loads in the yard. It was wintertime and Neufeld had just grabbed a load from the planer and had to put the blocks up on the previous load. His 944 forklift still had a sling of lumber on its forks, which was elevated off the ground.
Due to the icy conditions his forklift slid forward, pinning him in between the two loads. It was almost two hours later when he was found crushed to death.
He was one year from retirement.
I also operate a forklift and do a very similar job. I swear that every time I do my job I remember Corney Neufeld and I make sure that my load is touching the ground with my “E” brake on. I did not know Neufeld but his tragic death has taught me a lesson I will not forget.
April 28 is the Day of Mourning. I want to encourage everyone to take a minute on that day to remember those who have lost their lives while at work or have been severely injured.
Safety is everyone’s concern.