Message from Shirley Hickman

Tim HickmanDear Teacher:

March 1975, the month Tim was born, brought our family such joy and excitement. Watching Tim grow from a baby to a young adult brought us such happiness. Tim grew and family was as important to Tim as he was to us. His daily life brought the usual challenges and joys of the average family. But time was too short.

Tim was a healthy young person with a strong interest in sports and a passion for hockey. For Tim, spending time with his friends was just as important. He was so excited about just getting his first car (his Jeep) and took such care to keep it clean.

And then March 1996 brought an indescribable change to our family. Twenty-one short years after his birth Tim was tragically killed on the job. Our family continues to live in the various stages of grief. All of what was 'average' has changed. In the midst of our despair, however, was the start of a new voyage. We have been courageously looking at the realities of occupational health and safety. We know and see what can happen when health and safety in the workplace fails the worker. Whether the worker suffers a severe injury or dies, ultimately, the family and friends of the worker are victims too.

Injuries are not accidents. Most accidents are preventable. We, the family of Tim and the families of the young people who have been injured or killed in the workplace, hope you will find this resource helpful. Increasing knowledge of workplace health and safety will give students a base to build on. By promoting the issues with your students you will provide them with the power to ask questions and seek answers and to understand their rights and responsibilities in the workplace. As teachers, you have a tremendous opportunity to be part of this change. Lives will be saved. Injuries will be reduced.

Tim was, and is, so very loved. We miss him every day. Our love for Tim is the catalyst that provides us with the energy to continue and promote the need for increased awareness of occupational health and safety. Each of the organizations that have contributed to this publication have made a commitment to a shared goal - to eliminate preventable injuries and workplace fatalities, by increasing awareness and promoting rights and responsibilities. Together - parents, teachers, government, safety organizations and employers will make a difference.

Shirley Hickman

About Shirley Hickman

Shirley Hickman is Program Manager at Threads of Life, which provides families touched by a workplace tragedy with peer support assistance and referral while promoting public awareness and accountability for workplace health and safety.

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