Steps for Life: A Chance to Walk the Talk on Safety

Pam Baker found a way to make something positive out of the worst tragedy most of us can imagine. Pam’s husband James was killed when the bulldozer he was operating rolled over into a gravel pit filled with water, trapping him. Today, Pam participates in Steps for Life – Walking for Families of Workplace Tragedy and will act as a spokesperson for the walk this spring.

"Being a spokesperson for the Steps for Life walk allows me to share my family's dark experience with a workplace fatality and living our lives in the aftermath of the tragedy without our Jim,” Pam says.

Steps for Life is a five-km walk to support families like Pam’s, affected by workplace tragedy. Created in 2005, Steps for Life is the flagship fundraiser for the Association for Workplace Tragedy Family Support (known as Threads of Life). This spring, 27 communities from coast to coast will play host to Steps for Life. They will be joined and supported by individuals and organizations who are committed to workplace health and safety.

The annual event raises money to provide peer support programs and services for families, and raises awareness about the importance of workplace health and safety. Last year’s Steps for Life raised more than $690,000 for this work.

Pam’s husband Jim was finishing up his contract with a road construction crew and ready to return home to his family in a couple of days. He was working alone, pushing material to fill a pit which contained 10 feet of water. Somehow his bulldozer flipped and Jim was killed. Pam and her children joined Threads of Life, and have participated in programs such as family forums. Pam has now trained to be a Threads of Life volunteer speaker so she can share her story with the aim of preventing future tragedies. She will speak at the Steps for Life walk in Saint John NB on May 6.

“This day is to honour our loved one who we have lost and to raise awareness to shift how people view workplace safety,” Pam says. “We are here to say SAFETY MATTERS! Steps for Life brings people together who are all interested in a common goal – the absolute importance of safety at work, so that loved ones come home at the end of the work day.”

CRSP's can get involved by registering to walk, or donating to another walker or team. Steps for Life includes a team challenge for any group of three or more walkers, who join together to participate and raise money for the cause. Teams are encouraged to compete within their regions and across the country. Threads of Life will recognize the top teams – those which have raised the most money to support families affected by workplace tragedy. For anyone who can’t make it to one of the 27 scheduled walks, there’s also an option to participate by setting your own agenda through “Your Walk, Your Way”.

“Threads of Life shares the passion that CRSP’s have for safe and healthy workplaces,” says Executive Director Shirley Hickman. “We are so grateful that individuals like you are ready to demonstrate your leadership by supporting Steps for Life. The difference you make for these families is incredible.”

For more information about Steps for Life walks, visit: http://www.stepsforlife.ca