OHS Canada Magazine

National Day of Mourning will acknowledge essential, frontline workers’ sacrifices through COVID-19

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April 27, 2020
By OHS Canada

Health & Safety Human Resources April 28 ccohs COVID-19 Day of Mourning fatality

April 28 event a chance to renew commitment to health, safety: CCOHS

April 28 is the National Day of Mourning. (JuDo/Adobe Stock)

On the National Day of Mourning, April 28, Canadians will pay tribute to workers who have died, were injured, or made ill from their work.

It is also a day on which to renew organizational commitments to preventing future workplace tragedies, says Anne Tennier, president and CEO at the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) in Hamilton, Ont.

“On this day, we encourage workplaces to renew their commitment to safety as we remember those touched by tragic events from their work,” she says.

“This year is especially poignant as we pay tribute to those essential and frontline workers who sacrificed their health — and even their lives — as they served during the pandemic.”

On Tuesday, the Canadian flag will fly at half-mast on Parliament Hill and all federal government buildings. Traditionally, employers and workers have observed the National Day of Mourning by lighting candles, laying wreaths, or wearing commemorative pins, ribbons or black armbands.


In light of COVID-19, CCOHS encourages organizations, communities, and individuals to pause for a moment of silence at 11 a.m. April 28, and consider supporting a virtual event.

In 2018, 1,027 workplace fatalities were recorded in Canada — an increase of 76 from the previous year.

The Day of Mourning is observed in approximately 100 countries around the world. It is recognized as Workers’ Memorial Day and as International Workers’ Memorial Day by the International Labour Organisation and the International Trade Union Confederation.


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