Cancer top workplace killer

Unions team up to produce guide to raise awareness among employers
By Shannon Klie
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 05/31/2007

After 30 years of working in an auto parts plant in southern Ontario, during which time he was continuously exposed to metalworking fluid, Bud Jimmerfield developed esophageal cancer. The married father of eight was a Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) local union president and had been the full-time health and safety representative in his factory.

“Here he was a giant of a man and he withered away to next to nothing,” said Sari Sairanen, the CAW’s national health, safety and environment director.

During the CAW’s December 1997 council meeting, Jimmerfield told those gathered that if he could do it again and choose between his paycheque or his life, he would opt for his life. Jimmerfield died one month later on Jan. 31, 1998.