The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) is reminding employees and employers that April 28th is the National Day of Mourning in Canada. This day is set aside to honour those workers across the country whose lives have been lost, or affected by workplace injuries, disabilities or disease.
The National Day of Mourning was officially recognized by the federal government in 1991, eight years after the day of remembrance was launched by the Canadian Labour Congress. The Day of Mourning has since spread to about 80 countries around the world and has been adopted by the AFL-CIO and the International Confederation of Free Trade.
In 2011, 919* workplace deaths were recorded in Canada – a decrease from 1,014 the previous year. This represents more than 2.6 deaths every single day. In the nineteen year period from 1993 to 2011, 17,062* people lost their lives due to work-related causes (an average of 898 deaths per year).
CCOHS reminds employees and employers that the National Day of Mourning offers them an opportunity to not only remember but to publicly renew their commitment to improve health and safety in the workplace.
To help promote awareness in the workplace of this important day, CCOHS has designed a bilingual poster made available free of charge as well as other tools including an awareness sticker and commemorative pin.
More information about the National Day of Mourning can be found on the CCOHS website: http://www.ccohs.ca/events/mourning/poster.html.
* Data collected by the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada