April 28th marks the Day of Mourning for workers who have died, been injured or suffered illness in the workplace. It has been held annually across Canada since 1984, and is currently recognized in about 100 countries worldwide.
The Day of Mourning is an opportunity to remember the thousands of workers who have been killed, injured or suffered illness as a result of work-related incidents and to pay our respects to the many families and friends who have been deeply affected by these tragedies. It is also a day for us to renew our commitment to the improvement of workplace health and safety and the protection of workers, especially during the current COVID-19 crisis.
The most recent statistics from the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada (AWCBC) tell us that in Canada in 2018:
- 1027 workplace fatalities were recorded, an increase of 76 from the previous year. Among these deaths were 27 young workers aged 15-24.
- 264,438 accepted claims (an increase from 251,508 the previous year) for lost time due to a work-related injury or disease.
What can we do?
April 28 is not only a day of remembrance – it is also a day to renew your commitment to health and safety in the workplace. You can demonstrate this by:
- Attending a virtual Day of Mourning event in your area
- Evaluating your current Health and Safety Program
- Generating a Project Hazard Assessment process
- Developing Incident & Near Miss Reports
- Reporting unsafe conditions to your supervisor
By working together, we can prevent workplace illnesses, injuries and deaths. We all have the right to return home safe and healthy at the end of the day.
If your organization needs help developing workplace health & safety processes or want to be sure your current plan is sufficient to protect your workers, please contact our local Pinchin office or call us toll-free at 1-855-PINCHIN (746.2446).