For Shyanne, the smell of a workman after a long day's work brings back memories of her protective father, whom she lost suddenly.

While, Jeff McCulloch may be gone, he is not forgotten - the word "Daddy" imprinted in ink on her arm a constant reminder to "make the most of everything and to not take anything for granted".

It will be five years this month since the tragic sudden death of McCulloch, who went to work and never came home.

The 53-year-old was the foreman on the job to reinforce the old Farmers building on the corner of Emerson and Hastings streets in Napier.


It was the same job that took his life on May 15, 2013 when he was hit by a steel beam. He was unable to be revived and died on the scene.

His other daughter, Mia McCulloch, was just 12 years old when her "best friend" died.

Now 30, Shyanne says the death of her dad was "shattering".

"It completely alters you as a person. You don't get over it but you learn how to deal with it."

It is a pain that she wishes upon no other family. And a pain that has made her think about how things need to change.

One thing she believes will go a long way not just to remember the fallen, but to create awareness around prevention is for workers to attend Workers' Memorial Day.

"Guys are still dying at work. I think there are always going to be accidents things that you don't see until they happen but I just hope that the statistics go down."

Her mother, and McCulloch's ex-partner, Karen Barnes, shares this sentiment.


Having attended the memorial day for the past five years, she thinks more companies in the Hastings and Napier area need to do the same.

"I don't have a good thought of WorkSafe New Zealand, I think they let us down. You don't expect someone to go to work and not come back, but the sad reality is that they do."

She hopes Jeff and all the others who have died under the same circumstances won't become "just a number". It would be terrible if they just became a number.

"Jeff was a person; a son, a brother, a father of two, a granddad, a workmate, a friend - he was all of those, he wasn't just a person that died at work."

The company responsible, Patton Engineering, were fined and ordered to pay the family compensation.

Ms Barnes says while they tried their best, under the circumstances of what they faced at the time, more can be done.

"Patton Engineering at the time, they paid their fine, they supported the girls' financially, but to my knowledge they haven't attended Workers' Memorial Day and that is pretty poor for a company who has lost somebody at work.

"I don't know if Shyanne would think that would help in her healing but there is no acknowledgement from them now. There is no card on the anniversary. I am not saying that they need to continually beat themselves over Jeff dying but we are still a family grieving."