National Day of Mourning to Remember Workers
The National Day of Mourning is not only a day to remember those who have died; it is also a call to protect the health and safety of those who work during the most vulnerable times.
For Immediate Release
April 24, 2020 – Hamilton, ON – Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)
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 our commitment to preventing future workplace tragedies. This year, the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) acknowledges the sacrifices of frontline and essential workers who have died or become ill serving during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On April 28, the Canadian flag will flow 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 11:00 a.m. on April 28, and consider holding, attending, or supporting a virtual event.
More information about the National Day of Mourning can be found on the CCOHS website: www.ccohs.ca/events/mourning.
In 2018, 1,027 workplace fatalities were recorded in Canada (an increase of 76 from the previous year). Among those dead were 27 young workers aged 15-24. Add to these fatalities the 264,438 accepted claims (an increase of 12,930 from the past year) for lost time due to a work-related injury or disease, including 33,058 from workers aged 15-24. The fact that these statistics only include what is reported and accepted by the compensation boards, there is no doubt that the total number of workers impacted is even higher. Statistics source: Association of Workers' Compensation Boards of Canada (AWCBC).
In 1991, eight years after the day of remembrance was launched by the Canadian Labour Congress, the Parliament of Canada passed the Workers Mourning Day Act making April 28 an official Day of Mourning.
The Day of Mourning has since spread to about 100 countries around the world. It is recognized as Workers' Memorial Day and as International Workers' Memorial Day by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).
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