OHS Canada Magazine

Day of Mourning – Cause to Pause and Remember Lives Lost or Injured in the Workplace

April 24, 2007

Health & Safety

April 28th is National Day of Mourning in Canada. This is a day set aside to honour those workers across the country whose lives have been lost, who have been injured or disabled on the job, or suffer from occupational diseases.

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) reminds employees and employers that the Day of Mourning offers them an opportunity to not only remember, but to publicly renew their commitment to improve health and safety in the workplace.

In 2005 1,097* workplace deaths were recorded in Canada – up from 928 deaths the previous year. This 18% increase was driven mostly by the rise in fatality rate from occupational disease, which accounted for 50.8% of all fatalities. Asbestos-related deaths make up more than half of this number – as well as almost a third of all workplace fatalities.

“Knowing that these injuries and fatalities are preventable makes any workplace death unacceptable,” said Len Hong, President and CEO of CCOHS. “It is alarming that the number of workplace fatalities in this country is increasing, and it serves as a sombre reminder that we all have much to do to ensure that people can be safe and healthy at work. The National Day of Mourning is not only a day to remember workplace tragedies – it is also a call to protect the living.”

To help promote awareness in the workplace to this important day, CCOHS has designed a new, moving bilingual poster and made it available free of charge. The poster can be previewed on the CCOHS website at http://www.ccohs.ca/events/mourning/poster.html and a FREE poster can be requested by contacting CCOHS Client Services http://www.ccohs.ca/ccohs/client_services/ at 1-800-668-4284.

The CCOHS website has more information about the National Day of Mourning at http://www.ccohs.ca/events/mourning/.
* Data collected by the Association of Workers Compensation Boards of Canada

Eleanor Westwood, Manager – Communications
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)
905/572-2981, Ext. 4408 Email: mailto:eleanorw@ccohs.ca


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