Canada marks national day of mourning for workplace injuries and fatalities
In 2018, 1027 workplace fatalities were recorded in Canada, an increase of 76 from the previous year
Marked annually in Canada on April 28, the National Day of Mourning is dedicated to remembering those who have lost their lives, or suffered injury or illness on the job due to a work-related tragedy.
Traditionally on April 28th the Canadian flag has flown at half-mast on Parliament Hill and on all federal government buildings. Employers and workers have observed Day of Mourning in a variety of ways over the years. Some have lit candles, laid wreaths, worn commemorative pins, ribbons or black armbands, and paused for a moment of silence.
In light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic organizations, communities, and individuals are encouraged to practice physical distancing and consider holding or supporting a virtual event, or simply pause at 11:00 am on April 28 for a moment of silence.
The most recent statistics from the Association of Workers' Compensation Boards of Canada (AWCBC) show that in 2018, 1027 workplace fatalities were recorded in Canada, an increase of 76 from the previous year. Among these deaths were 27 young workers aged 15-24.
Add to these fatalities the 264,438 accepted claims (an increase from 251,508 the previous year) for lost time due to a work-related injury or disease, including 33,058 from workers aged 15-24, and the fact that these statistics only include what is reported and accepted by the compensation boards, there is no doubt that the total number of workers impacted is even greater.
It is the hope of CCOHS that the annual observance of this day will help strengthen the resolve to establish safe and healthy conditions in the workplace, and prevent further injuries, illnesses and deaths. As much as this is a day to remember the dead, it is also a call to protect the living.
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