Knowing you’re not alone makes a big difference when you’re coping with the aftermath of a work-related tragedy. In a pandemic, we can walk side by side in spirit, even if we can’t be together in person.

Steps for Life – Walking for Families of Workplace Tragedy offers everyone a chance to walk together in solidarity and support of those who’ve experienced a work-related fatality, life-altering injury, or occupational disease. For 2021, wherever we walk #WeWalkTogether.

Steps for Life is a fun five-kilometre walk that serves as the premier fundraiser for Threads of Life. This national charity supports families affected by workplace tragedy. Communities across the country will participate this spring, although all events are virtual.

In Sarnia, Eugene Gutierrez is this year’s Steps for Life spokesperson. In 2017, Eugene tragically lost his father, Eulogio “Bot” Gutierrez – a veteran mining survey technician of 30 years – after he was struck by a piece of mobile equipment in an underground mine.

“Every worker has the right to go home to their family safe and healthy at the end of the day,” Eugene says. “Being the spokesperson for the 2021 Sarnia Steps for Life Walk has provided me with the opportunity and privilege to not only share my family’s personal and painful experience with loss due to a workplace fatality but to ensure that my father’s passing was not in vain; to honour and remember him by reminding others and by raising more awareness around the critical importance of workplace safety – to prevent these types of tragic incidents from ever happening; to prevent further pain and suffering for other families.”

Every year in Canada, close to 1000 workers die as a result of their jobs – either through sudden traumatic injury, or an occupational disease. Thousands more are gravely injured. In addition to those personally affected by fatalities, serious injuries and occupational disease, Steps for Life is supported by committed individuals and local safety-minded companies. You can join in by registering to participate, fundraising or donating to other participants.

The Sarnia event is virtual, with an online opening ceremony on Saturday, May 1 at 10:30 a.m. Learn more at www.stepsforlife.ca.