Kenneth O'Flaherty

Photo of Kenneth   O'Flaherty , 17
This worker is represented on the LifeQuilt

Kenneth O'Flaherty - 17

New York, - Construction
Kenneth O’Flaherty was a Memorial University of Newfoundland student, from September 1970 – April 1971. He was going to be a family doctor and had received excellent grades. Kenneth wanted to work for the summer of 1971 to get money to further his education. He joined his older brother Frank in New York to work as a union worker apprentice with the Ironworkers Union. He worked and saved his money. Kenneth booked his flight to return home on August 6, 1971. On July 27, 1971 at 4:00 pm, New York time, Kenneth fell from a high-rise building. He had lined up with a large group of men to get down to the ground at quitting time. When he climbed over a header to make it to the ladder, Kenneth lost his footing and fell, He died as a result of the fall. His cousin Georgie was on the job site with him; our brother Frank was back in Newfoundland. We got the news from our cousin Georgie that Kenneth’s last words were, “Tell Mom and Dad I love them.” He closed his eyes at the age of 17. The day he was to come home, his mother received a letter from him. Kenneth had lived in Avondale, Newfoundland all his life. A hard worker and dedicated family member, he brought happiness, energy and joy to his family. Kenneth loved his older brothers and sisters and was protector and friend to his younger sisters.
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In Canada, workplace fatalities claim roughly 1,000 lives every year. Thousands more suffer from serious injuries and illnesses. And every one of those deaths, injuries and illnesses has a devastating effect on family members, friends and co-workers. Through the LifeQuilt, families honoured 100 young workers killed in Canadian workplaces, as well as injured workers, by telling their stories. The following is a list of all young workers represented on the Quilt: