Offices: Lively ON, Ottawa ON, Sault Ste. Marie ON

April 28, Day of Mourning

April 28, Day of Mourning

We want to shine some light on April 28th which is the Day of Mourning, an international observance as a day of mourning for workers killed, injured or made ill by their job.

The declaration of the Day of Mourning began here in Canada. In 1984, unions in Sudbury, adopted the day to acknowledge workplace injuries, illnesses, and deaths. The Canadian Labour Congress held its first day of remembrance in 1986. The date of April 28th was chosen to because of the anniversary of the day Ontario passed the Workers’ Compensation Act in 1914.

On April 28, 1991, Canada recognized its first National Day of Mourning for Persons Killed or Injured in the Workplace. On this day,  flags fly at half-mast, and ceremonies are held to recognize the lives lost, as well as the suffering of those left behind due to a workplace tragedy.

Today we want to take a moment to honour lives lost, and lives forever changed due to workplace incidents, as well as encourage everyone to focus on workplace health and safety.

After workplace tragedy happens, many families would say that every day is a day of mourning for loved ones lost or injured.

To show your support, On April 28, you can

  • attend a Day of Mourning event in your community
  • encourage others to attend an event
  • draft a message for your organization’s publication or web site
  • use social media to create online communities, post photos and messages
  • attend training and webinars to increase your health and safety knowledge

On every other day, we can 

  • educate others about health and safety rights, responsibilities and prevention measures
  • insist on effective workplace prevention programs developed with worker participation as well as training that supports the identifying, and controlling of workplace hazards
  • Speak up if you feel something is not safe. Ask a supervisor, speak to the person who is doing work in an unsafe way, and make sure you keep safety as a priority.

On the Threads of Life website real people share real stories about their loved ones being involved in workplace incidents. I encourage you to go and read them, or watch their videos, and keep them in mind today, and each work day.

Workers are killed by workplace hazards every day. Each year, hundreds of thousands suffer injuries and illness because of their working conditions.

Let’s take April 28 to remember workers who have suffered work-related disability, disease and death. They are not forgotten.

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