Every year on April 28, Canada comes together to remember those who have died, been injured or suffered illness in the workplace. The National Day of Mourning serves as an annual reminder that all workplaces should be safe, healthy environments. In this area, we know there is still a lot of work to be done.
The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) reports that 227 people died as a result of work-related injuries or illnesses in 2017. “We have to change society’s attitudes. Workplace injuries must never be seen by some as just the ‘cost of doing business'”, says Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn in his 2018 Day of Mourning House statement. Chief Prevention Officer Ron Kelusky offers further counsel in his statement: “Workplace health and safety is a shared responsibility. We must work together – employers, supervisors, workers and government – to eliminate workplace hazards”.
Today, while we honour and remember those we have lost, we are also reminded of the importance of protecting current and future workers in order to prevent future tragedies, injuries and illnesses. Today, let us renew our respective commitments to advancing occupational health and safety, and may we get to a point where there is no longer a need to commemorate this solemn day.
Community events are being held across Ontario to commemorate the Day of Mourning. Find an event near you: http://ow.ly/oNbX30jzOWA.
To learn more about the Day of Mourning, and read some of the tributes and stories honoring the lives of those that have been lost, visit www.wsibdayofmourning.com.