Every year on April 28, we remember those who have died or been seriously injured in the workplace.
TORONTO – On this Day of Mourning, Public Services Health & Safety Association (PSHSA) remembers those who have lost their lives or been seriously injured in the workplace, and the families, friends and coworkers who were left behind.
“In the past five years, 187 Ontario workers in the sectors PSHSA represents were killed on the job or died from an occupational disease”, says Glenn Cullen, CEO & COO of PSHSA. “Today, we remember all of them, and hold in our thoughts the many people out there coping with the devastating impacts of these workplace tragedies.”
The Canadian Labour Congress established April 28 as the National Day of Mourning in Canada in 1984. to remember and honour those who have died, been injured or suffered illness in the workplace. The date was chosen to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the day the first Ontario Worker's Compensation Act was approved by the government (1914). The Day of Mourning was enshrined in national legislation by an Act of Parliament on February 1, 1991. The Day of Mourning, also known as Workers' Memorial Day, is officially recognized in over 100 countries.
The day is often marked with public ceremonies, wearing black and yellow ribbons, lighting candles, observing a moment of silence at 11 am and the sharing of stories and tributes. There is opportunity for everyone to observe and participate, both online and in-person.
- Honour lives lost and spread awareness around the importance of making workplaces safer by lighting a digital candle and sharing on social media.
- Heighten public awareness of the day and the significance of occupational health and safety by sharing videos and materials created by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) available at https://wsibdayofmourning.ca/.
- Show your support by learning more about Threads of Life – the Association for Workplace Tragedy Family Support. Consider registering for a Steps for Life fundraising walk to support families whose lives have been forever changed, or joining PSHSA as a regular donor. Since 2018, PSHSA has proudly donated $50,000 in support of Threads of Life so they can continue providing important family services such as grief counseling, crisis intervention support and the development of healthy coping skills.
- Mark the day by attending an in-person or virtual event. You’re invited to register for Threads of Life’s online ceremony taking place on April 28 at 10 am EST, or any of the public ceremonies happening across Ontario to commemorate the day. See a province-wide event listing of 40+ in-person and virtual events from Workers Health & Safety Centre.
“Today reminds us how crucial workplace health and safety is and the very real dangers of unsafe working conditions and practices”, says Cullen. “By working together, we can ensure workplaces have comprehensive health and safety management systems and prevention programs in place to prevent devastating losses, making certain workplace health and safety is properly acknowledged, practiced and prioritized all year-round.”