Casket Campaign Profile #2: Sean Bradley
“I miss Sean’s laugh. I miss his smile. Some days I find myself staring at his picture on the wall and remembering all the happy times together. Those days also bring intense waves of grief thinking about the moments he has missed since then.”
– Cheryl Shock, Sean’s widow
Sean Bradley was a truck driver.
That was the job he was hired to do. But that’s NOT the job he was doing when he died.
“Sean was a truck driver; it was his passion. If there was a vehicle with a motor,” explains Sean’s widow, Cheryl, “he would want to drive it.”
“Sean and I met in November 2009. Instantly, we were inseparable. I know it sounds cliché, but we were soulmates. Sean was my best friend; we spent all of our time together. If we weren’t talking on the phone or texting, we were working on our motorbikes, sleds, camping, or going for drives.”
– Cheryl Shock
“Friday June 6, 2014 was one month before our wedding,” says Cheryl. “The day started like any other. Sean had found a local quarry job only two months earlier and was off to work.”Sean never came home again. Instead, it was two police officers who showed up at Cheryl's door to deliver the worst news of her life. Click To Tweet
“There had been no rock to haul that day,” Cheryl explains, “but instead of sending Sean home, the company he worked for had him helping a mechanic do repairs on the small bus that hauled workers up to the mine site.”
It was while doing those repairs that Sean had died. He had been working underneath an unsecured vehicle when it rolled and crushed him. He was killed instantly.
Sean was born with cerebral palsy. It left him with a limp and very little use of his right hand. He could hold things but had very little feeling in that hand.
“Sean couldn’t “mechanic”; he wasn’t trained as a mechanic,” explains Cheryl. “Sean was a truck driver, and he had been hired to haul rock down from the quarry to be used for flood mitigation after the floods the summer before. He should not have been working on that bus.”And so...instead of finishing wedding plans, Cheryl found herself planning Sean's funeral. Click To Tweet
In Canada, workers have three basic rights related to safety:
#1. The right to know what hazards are present in the workplace.
#2. The right to participate in keeping your workplace healthy and safe.
#3. The right to refuse work that you believe to be dangerous to yourself or your co-workers.
Since many jobs do have dangerous work, this means that training, controlling hazards and wearing PPE are imperative, so as to ensure that dangerous work can still be done…safely.
Sean was not trained to do the work he was doing – repairing the bus – when he died, nor were the controls in place to prevent the bus from rolling.
We cannot bring Sean back but we CAN learn from his tragic death.
As a worker, you can speak up if you are asked to do work you are not trained to do. And you can ask that proper controls are in place to make doing a job as safe as possible.As an employer, you do have a significant role to play - and a responsibility to do so - to ensure your workers get home safely at the end of every shift. Click To Tweet
“The plan is to make a beautiful community out there, where we take care of each other.”
– Steve Jacobs
About Sean Bradley…
Sean was raised in the Crowsnest Pass, Alberta. He loved the mountains. He was an avid snowmobiler, ATV and motorcycle rider and camper. Sean was born with cerebral palsy, but he never let it slow him down. He was 47 when he passed away.
You can read a poignant article by Cheryl entitled, “A Funeral Instead of a Wedding,” on the Threads of Life website.
Thank you for reading & stay safe.
About the JPMF’s Casket Campaign
Since Const. John Petropoulos died on the job in 2000, more than 20,000 Canadians have died as the result of their work, either due to an injury or occupational illness.
You can view the first 30-second “Casket” PSA here.
About the JPMF
The JPMF was started shortly after the death of Calgary Police Constable John Petropoulos on Sept 29th, 2000. John was investigating a break and enter complaint when he stepped through a false ceiling, fell nine feet into the lunchroom below and died of a brain injury. There was no safety railing to warn him of the danger; the complaint turned out to be a false alarm.
John was 32.
The JPMF is a registered Canadian charity that raises public awareness about workplace safety issues and educates people about why & how to ensure their workplaces and the roads are safer for everyone, including emergency responders. For further information, please visit jpmf.ca.