Working Away

James Hanna

Parts Supervisor

Detour Lake Mine Ontario


Ron’s video on Facebook


For over a year, traveling for rotational workers have been difficult. Many Toromont employees travel from home to remote sites every week.  The Covid pandemic has really been a challenge to these workers.  Ron O’Connell of Toromont Parts at Detour Mine and some of his co-workers are some of those affected.

“Being from Newfoundland, travel has been particularly difficult. Our province was on lockdown and myself, like many others, had to self-isolate… not being able to hug or be near loved ones. Many co-workers have shared heart breaking personal stories of what has happened to them. My personal experiences and their stories inspired me to put feelings into music. I wrote a song called “Workin’ Away”, dedicated to Rotational workers and their struggles. I posted a request for images on a few Rotational Worker Facebook pages … The response and images people posted back were overwhelming. I used these images to create a video for the song.”

On the evening of June 20th, Ron posted the finished song and video to Facebook.  To his surprise, on the evening of June 21st his video was being shown province-wide on the local CTV Affiliate Channel, NTV News supper hour show. They played the entire song.

“They played the entire song ! ….I was very surprised to say the least, didn’t know that would happen!  My phone didn’t stop “dinging” that night, the response and comments from co-workers and strangers were amazing.  It was a song from the heart and I believe people re-acted to that. The stories I have heard and continue to hear really makes you stop and think how precious normal everyday life used to be.”

Covid has affected all remote site employees.  While some have suffered hardships, it has also spurred others to create.  Ron has created a moving tribute to all who have worked and travelled through these trying times.

Ron’s video and song can be viewed at:

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