Today, Canada is observing the National Day of Mourning to remember and honour those who have lost their lives or been injured due to workplace tragedies. Over the years, Canadians have observed this day in various ways, including lighting candles, laying wreaths, wearing commemorative pins, ribbons, or black armbands, and pausing for a moment of silence. As we pause to honour these lives lost and the families who have been affected, let us also recommit ourselves to improving health and safety in the workplace. No one should have to lose their life or health while simply trying to earn a living.
It is crucial to remember that workplace tragedies affect more than just the statistics. According to the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada (AWCBC), in 2021, there were 1,081 workplace fatalities recorded in Canada, with 18 young workers aged 15-24 among them. These numbers do not account for the loved ones, family members, friends, and co-workers who are directly affected and left behind. Let us take this day to strengthen our resolve in establishing safe and healthy conditions in the workplace and prevent further injuries, illnesses, and deaths. As much as this is a day to remember those who have lost their lives, it is also a call to protect people around us and make work a place where people are safe and can thrive.
We invite the SPPH community to join together in a moment of silence at 10:30 am April 28th to remember those who have died while working.
Please see the video message below from Dr. Chris McLeod, Associate Professor and Head, Occupational and Environmental Health Division.
You may also wish take part in an online ceremony or memorial, a list of which can be found in the link here.