Westray Anniversary

Today is May 9 and 21-years-ago 26 miners/fathers/sons/husbands/friends lost their lives when the Westray Mine blew up.  Having lived and worked in the Plymouth/New Glasgow areas, and having worked in the mining industry, I shed a silent tear for the loss of lives and the chaos and pain this criminal act brought to the families, friends, survivors and communities of those left behind.  The title of Mr. Justice Peter Richard’s report on the Westray Mine disaster, The Westray Story: A Predictable Path to Disaster, says it all:  “The tragedy of Westray involved corporate greed, bureaucratic bungling and government incompetence of the highest order.” If anyone asks why I, specifically, and HR pros, generally, are passionate about safety in the workplace this would be a significant reason.


The National Film Board produced an excellent documentary on the Westray tragedy.

Westray by Paul Cowan, National Film Board of Canada

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