November 3rd, 2016 is a day Denise Morneau will never forget.

"I got a phone call at home from Trish, our daughter in law, stating that there had been an accident” remembers Morneau.

Her son, Rob, was working as an electrician for Vollmer Incorporated. He was doing a job at Ventra Plastics when he fell through the sky-light on the roof. Morneau was rushed to hospital and was pronounced dead.

Morneau, 44, left behind a wife, two kids, six siblings and more than a dozen nieces and nephews as well as his Mom and Dad.

“It was an unbelievable shock” remembers Jack Morneau, Rob’s father. “I think we were numb for the longest time. Rob went to work one morning, and never came home."

The Morneau’s are not alone. There were five workplace deaths in Windsor-Essex in 2016. Another worker has died in 2017.

Ontario Ministry of Labour staff made more than 1,400 workplace visits in Windsor-Essex in 2016. 610 were deemed proactive visits to ensure safe working conditions. Another 817 visits were reactive due to complaints, critical injury or death.

In those fatal cases, Brian Hogan of the Windsor and District Labour Council says he'd like to see employers investigated for criminal negligence.

“The law is on the books for a reason” says Hogan. “So employers can do what they're supposed to do, which is really on a daily basis, say how can I make this workplace safer for  my employees."

Rob Morneau will be one of six people who will be remembered during the day of mourning ceremony on Friday.

Other victims who will be honoured include;

  • Dean Trombley was 51 years old when he was killed on Nov 16 , 2016 at R.J. Cyr Co. in Maidstone as he was crushed by a metal beam weighing more than half a tonne.
  • Jacob Heidi was almost 45 years old when he died on October 18, 2016 in a fatal lawn mower accident in Leamington. 
  • Brian Izsak was 53 years old when he died on July 26 after he fell through the roof at Good Life Fitness on July 15, 2016.
  • Michael Maukonen was only 19 year old  when he passed away on June 30, 2016 after spending months in a coma due to the critical injuries he sustained on December 11, 2015 working for Rauth Roofing.
  • On June 17, 2016 another worker died at MCM Acres in Leamington when they were trapped between a wall and an excavator.  Unfortunately the name of the worker was not disclosed.

One of the speakers at Friday’s ceremony will be Don Affleck, the father of Wayne Affleck, a young electrician from Leamington who was electrocuted in December 2013.

Silver Kuris will also read a poem in memory of her father. She is the daughter of Sam Kuris who was raised in Windsor and was killed in a construction accident in British Columbia in 2011.

The Day of Mourning ceremony in Windsor will take place at the Injured Workers Monument at Riverside and Pillette at 6 p.m.