April 28 is Worker Memorial Day in the United States and World Day for Safety and Health. It also is Canada’s National Day of Mourning.
“This day is important to all working Canadians. It’s our opportunity to raise awareness of health and safety and the importance of creating a culture of prevention in the workplace so that we can avoid injuries and illnesses,” said Steve Horvath, president and CEO at CCOHS. “April 28 is a day to pause, reflect and renew our commitment to health and safety and prevention right across Canada.
The Canadian government first officially recognized the National Day of Mourning in 1991, eight years after the day of remembrance was launched by the Canadian Labour Congress. The Day of Mourning, also known as Workers Memorial Day, has since spread to about 80 countries around the world and has been adopted by the AFL-CIO, the International Confederation of Free Trade, and the International Labour Organization (ILO).
In 2012, 977 workplace deaths were recorded in Canada – an increase from 919 the previous year. This represents more than 2.7 deaths every single day. In the 20 year period from 1993 to 2012, 18,039 people lost their lives due to work-related causes (an average of 902 deaths per year).
To help promote awareness of the National Day of Mourning in Canadian workplaces, CCOHS distributes bilingual posters free of charge, as well as other tools including awareness stickers and commemorative pins. Workplaces can also update their Facebook page with the free Day of Mourning cover images.