Because I Care.

Because I Care.

Because I Care


June 2019

The National Day of Mourning was last month. At the time, I shared some reflections.

Over the years I’ve also thought about this, and other,  “Days of…”, and how they do a very good job of raising awareness of a particular issue on a particular day. But the real work comes after the Day – and every day.

On the National Day of Mourning, I was flying to Ottawa feeling grateful for the dinner I had planned with Dee, one of my dearest friends from university – the kind of friend that you’re already all caught up with no matter how much time has passed between visits.  

We had plans to toast a new baby, new love, and mostly the gratitude that after all of these years, and busy lives, we still manage to make these impromptu dinners happen more often than not.

In the midst of libations and laughs, out of the corner of my eye and my ear I see the bartender standing on the top step of a ladder to reach a bottle high up.  The ladder isn’t all that high, and this everyday action may not even have registered had I not heard the co-worker caution her about the safety of being on the top rung. She responded somewhat jokingly, “What are you, the safety police.”

Her co-worker responded “Well yes, I’m on the JOHS committee, but that’s not the point. It’s because I care.”

Because I care…

My mile a minute chatter came to an abrupt halt.  Dee, knowing me very well, recognized the significance of this.  

I couldn’t really believe what I thought I had seen and heard, so as I sometimes do, I jumped into their conversation. “Did you just ask her to step down from that ladder and cite the reason as caring?”, I asked.

Yes, I had heard right.  

One of the questions I am asked most often is how to communicate discomfort about a situation, or to call out plainly unsafe behaviour to a co-worker in a manner that will be well received.  

While I struggle with the fact that people still take offence when someone makes the time to reach out in an effort to ensure their safety, I know that it’s still a reality.  

The question that I have struggled to respond to confidently for so many years had now been answered.  This was an interaction between two people that while very light in tone, held significant weight.

There are (and will) continue to be disagreement about what constitutes appropriate safety measures in the workplace. Personal safety is just that – personal.  But while ideas may differ, regulations are in place and they are there for a reason – and when the time comes that someone needs to be reminded, try using “Because I care”.



Candace Carnahan

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Day of Mourning – 2019

Day of Mourning – 2019

Day of Mourning – 2019


APRIL, 2019


Today is a day to remember.  A day to give pause in recognition of so many who lost their lives at work.  Those who died making a living. For me, it also signifies, and calls to mind, all of the details of the day that my life as I knew it changed.  I was one of the lucky ones who survived what countless others did not – I didn’t return home at the end of the work day, but I did eventually go home.  

What could have been my ending, turned out to be a new beginning.  For that I am eternally grateful. As I sit quietly this morning – the Day of Mourning – sipping my coffee, I give pause and I think of my own family, knowing that no matter how many years pass, the day that changes your life forever will always feel like yesterday… if you’ll allow yourself to revisit.  If you can summon up the strength to go there.

I believe today, it’s important to make that journey, as it is through reflection that we not only remember the past, but we also reset for the future and consider the role we plan to play in making our world a safer place to work.  A place where getting hurt or killed at work is in no way part of the job.

While mourning and hope aren’t typically thought to go hand and hand, making time and space for our grief is a continuous part of the coping process –  a process that will for many, never end. It is my thought that hope often times defeats helplessness. That taking positive action towards preventing what we failed to do in the past may not lessen the pain, but can offer us purpose.  

Today, there are services taking place in communities nationwide to commemorate the Day of Mourning.  We can also choose to honour those lives lost by visiting a space within ourselves where we truly think about our actions, and commit to improving on an aspect in our lives that directly relates to safety.  We can all do “onethingsafer”.

We can all do “onethingsafer”.

Candace Carnahan

Thank you to the Toronto Star for shedding much needed light on this important day – and allowing me to share my story .. to read the complete online version click here

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CBC Radio Interview

CBC Radio Interview

CBC Radio Newfoundland Interview


Sept, 2017

Chatting in studio

Candace Carnahan

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