History of Health and Safety in BC

The BC Labour Heritage Centre has partnered with WorkSafeBC to produce a series of videos that highlight the history of health and safety in our Province. They are free to use in schools and union training programs.

Download "Work is Hazardous to Your Health"- A synoposis of this video series and suggested activity guide to accompany the video materials.

Lloyd's Ambulance


This video tells the story of Lloyd O’Brien, a volunteer ambulance attendant and the creation of the BC Ambulance Service in 1974 — the first in Canada. 2011, Length: 5:22

Al Lundgren, Health & Safety Pioneer


This video explores the development of standardized safety regulations in the BC forest industry.  The story is told through the experiences of Lundgren, who worked tirelessly to improve safety for fallers and other workers.  2013, Length: 7:23

Verna Ledger, Health & Safety Pioneer


As a sawmill worker, Verna Ledger rose through the ranks of the International Woodworkers of America to become a national leader fighting for occupational health and safety in the industry. 2013, Length: 6:10

Jack Munro, Labour and Safety Pioneer


Jack Munro, former IWA leader and founding chair of the BCLabour Heritage Centre, discusses his experiences and perspective on health and safety issues in the forest industry. 2013, Length:  6:10

Ironworkers Memorial Bridge Tribute


Interviews and archival footage  remember the nineteen lives lost during the collapse of the Second Narrows Bridge in 1958. The bridge is now known as the Ironworkers Memorial,  2014, Length: 10:05

Bentall Memorial Tribute to Four Carpenters


Interviews and archival footage remember four carpenters killed on January 7, 1981,  during the construction of Bentall IV tower in downtown Vancouver.   A plaque commemorating them is located near the site. 2014, Length: 10:10

Asbestos in BC


This video focuses of Dave Ford, an electrician who died of mesothelioma, a cancer related to asbestos exposure.  It also describes the history of asbestos and the work of several British Columbians to raise awareness of the risks associated with asbestos exposure. 2015, Length: 11:15

Download Asbestos Case Study Lesson Plan

The History of Health & Safety in BC's Commercial Fishing Industry


The story of the fight by fishermen to obtain recognition as workers and coverage by Workers’ Compensation.  It recounts the hazards and dangers of what was once a major BC industry. 2016, Length:  13:13

The History of Health & Safety in BCs Shoreworker Industry


This video shares the history of health and safety in British Columbia's shoreworker industry – how it was viewed in the early days, and how it changed over time. Produced for the BC Labour Heritage Centre, this video tells the story of unions, organizations and individuals who worked hard to improve conditions for workers in this proud and important industry. 2018, 10:43

The History of Health & Safety in BC's Farmworker Industry


The history of the Canadian Farmworkers Union and the major role it played in improving working conditions in the BC agriculture industry. 2017, Length:  10:17

See also:  Lesson Plan on Canadian Farmworkers Union

A Tribute to Three BC Farmworkers


The story of three South Asian women workers killed in a van crash in 2007, the investigation into their deaths, and the Golden Tree monument dedicated to their memory. 2017, Length:  9:43