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Tiara Dietrich is a teacher at Saskatoon Public School Division—a school division that, in its entirety, serves about 24,000 students—in Canada.

Tiara’s story is unique in that she brings a much-needed message to the community (and beyond) in her fight for constant vigilance in safety preparation and hazard recognition. Keep reading to learn how a preventable workplace incident affected this Safety Hero’s family and the remarkable and heartfelt way in which she’s responded since.

What event changed how you look at safety?

January 25, 2013 my husband passed away due to a preventable workplace accident when I was nine months pregnant with our first child. He was employed by and owned a small percentage of a tower company based out of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

He was removing an old, deteriorating tower where water had flooded and eroded the base of the tower located in a low point on a  farmers field. It was winter, the ice was brittle, his bobcat he used to clear the ice fell through. The water was 6-10 feet and he was trapped under water and he perished. This could have been prevented with ice safety regulation and properly educating employees.

And how do you help others know the importance of safety today?

I work in three areas. Prevention and awareness are two areas I work on through giving safety awareness speeches at professional development events. Support is the third area. I help support young families losing a parent while a resident of Saskatchewan, Canada.

I am able to do this in my late husband’s honor through the Jimmy Dietrich Memorial Fund. I also run an online based support group for Saskatchewan widowed mothers that were widowed with elementary or younger aged kids at time of being widowed.

What do you wish others knew about safety?

To slow down, think and never settle for ‘safe enough’; no matter if it your first day back on the job after a break from your job or your last day of work before time off, or anywhere in between.

How do you hope workplaces evolve their approach towards safety in the future?

To continue to utilize organizations that focus on safety in their particular work field. My husband worked in telecommunications on the construction, maintenance and demolition of towers. If there was more regulation, he would have survived.

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