Ottawa, ON — In 2007, 1,055 workplace deaths were recorded in Canada — up from 976 the previous year. This represents almost three (2.89) deaths every single day. Another 972,407 were injured or became ill.
In the 15-year period from 1993 to 2007, 13,106 people lost their lives due to work-related causes (an average of 873 deaths per year).
The National Day of Mourning, held annually on April 28, was officially recognized by the federal government in 1991, eight years after the day of remembrance was launched by the Canadian Labour Congress. The Day of Mourning has since spread to about 80 countries around the world and has been adopted by the AFL-CIO and the International Confederation of Free Trade.
The Canadian flag on Parliament Hill will fly at half-mast. Workers will light candles, don ribbons and black armbands and observe moments of silence. Businesses are asked to participate by declaring April 28 a Day of Mourning and to strive to prevent workplace deaths, illnesses and injuries.
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety (CCOHS) says it hopes that the annual observance of this day will strengthen the resolve to establish safe conditions in the workplace for all, adding that it is as much a day to remember the dead as it is a call to protect the living.
Anyone can show their support by wearing a Day of Mourning commemorative pin. Or, a free poster can be downloaded and displayed in the workplace. Printed posters are also available at a nominal cost. To receive these materials in time, place orders by March 31 with CCOHS. Contact CCOHS’ Inquiries Service at 1-800-668-4284; by fax 905-572-4500; or submit an inquiry form on the Internet at: http://www.ccohs.ca/ccohs/inquiries/inquiries_form.html.
For further statistical information, visit AWCBC National Work Injuries Statistics Program at http://www.awcbc.org/en/nationalworkinjuriesstatisticsprogramnwisp.asp.