Local 793 of the International Union of Operating Engineers is building a memorial garden and pavilion at its head office in Oakville to honour members who have been killed in construction site accidents or as a result of an occupational illness.
More than 150 dignitaries, union staff, business representatives and officers, safety officials, building trades representatives, construction employers, and family members of four operators who have died under such circumstances, attended a groundbreaking June 9 at the site.
Local 793 business manager Mike Gallagher spoke about the significance of the memorial and also the importance of industry partners and government health and safety agencies working together to make construction sites safer.
He noted that 225 workers were killed in construction site accidents in Ontario between 2003 and 2013, and that in 2013 alone 17 construction workers were killed.
The garden and pavilion were designed by Hamilton-area artist Patrick Bermingham. The pavilion will have three outer arches and two inner arches, creating a quiet place for reflection.
Names of deceased members will be engraved on the arches. The structure should be completed by September.
Dufferin Construction is contributing $40,000 to help with the costs of building the foundation for the pavilion, while Bermingham Construction is donating $25,000 and the Crane Rental Association of Ontario is providing $10,000 for construction costs.