Health and Safety: Faces Behind the Statistics, Lynda Kolly & Burton Reimer

Burton Reimer’s first day on a commercial fishing boat was also his last. The enterprising 17-year-old was saving up for a snowmobile, but 11 hours after setting out the boat sank. It had no lifesaving equipment. “Burton’s wages for that day would have been $85,” says his mother, Lynda Kolly. Eventually she was able to redirect her grief toward helping other families cope with illness, injury and loss.

Burton Reimer’s needless death transformed Lynda Kolly into a safety advocate and sought-after public speaker. In 2007, she also joined the board of Threads of Life. “I found I needed to have more of a connection with family members who were experiencing the same thing as me.”

Since then, Lynda hasn’t stopped giving her time and energy. Right away, she helped organize a Steps for Life walk in Winnipeg and still volunteers on the day of the walk. Lynda also joined the Speakers Bureau, became a media spokesperson, and signed up as a volunteer family guide, providing support and understanding to others after the workplace death of a family member. Among all these activities, Lynda’s favourite moments are at Threads of Life Family Forums. “You’re making one-on-one connections and you know you’re making a difference for that one person.”

Read more about Lynda and her story:

More of Lynda’s story can also be found in Forget Me Not, a Threads of Life book of family stories available at

You can help families like Lynda’s, coping with the devastating impact of a traumatic workplace fatality or other workplace tragedy. Here’s how:

Donate: your gift will directly support Canadian families affected by workplace fatalities, life-altering injuries and occupational disease
Designate: make Threads of Life your company’s Charity of Choice
Volunteer: help out with our annual Steps for Life walk – see
Spread the word: let those who need help know where to find it.

If you or a loved one have experienced a traumatic workplace fatality or other workplace tragedy, read about how Threads of Life can help you.