Renew Your Commitment to Safety on the National Day of Mourning
On April 28th, employers and employees from over 100 countries around the world will observe the National Day of Mourning.
On this day, we commemorate those who have been injured or who have lost their lives due to a workplace accident or incident.
Why a National Day of Mourning?
Workplace injuries and deaths have always been, and will continue to be a major concern in Canada. Workplace safety measures and protocols are important to implement as a means to minimize accidents and incidents.
The most recent statistics from the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada (AWCBC) tell us that in 2016, 905 workplace deaths were recorded in Canada. Among those dead were 6 young workers aged 15-19; and another 20 workers aged 20-24.
Add to these fatalities the 241,508 claims accepted for lost time due to a work-related injury or disease, including 29,588 from workers aged 15-24, and the fact that these statistics only include what is reported and accepted by the compensation boards, and it is safe to say that the total number of workers impacted is even higher.
What these numbers don’t show is just how many people are directly affected by these workplace tragedies. Each worker death impacts the loved ones, families, friends and coworkers they leave behind, changing all of their lives forever [i].
How will your workplace observe the National Day of Mourning?
April 28th is about more than grieving the lost. It is about taking the lessons of the past to help ensure that future workplace accidents are prevented. It is about employers and employees working together and taking responsibility for workplace safety.
Many workers and their employers observe the day by using items of remembrance such as special pins or ribbons. They may also light candles, lay wreaths or have a moment of silence at 11:00 am. Federal government buildings will fly the Canadian flag at half-mast that day.
Some businesses and labour organizations choose to erect monuments on this day which often have the inscription of “Fight for the Living. Mourn for the Dead.” There is even a social media hashtag (#dayofmourning) that companies and individuals alike may use to show their support.
Observing the National Day of Mourning helps unite employers and workers and shows your employees that you are committed to their health and safety.
Renew Your Commitment to Workplace Safety
The days leading up to the National Day of Mourning are an ideal time for any company to renew their commitment to workplace safety. Consider using this time as an opportunity for a health and safety review meeting or a time to refresh your employees’ WHMIS training. Make sure that your employees feel comfortable with bringing any safety concerns to management.
It is also a good time to bring in third party consultants for seminars to emphasize the importance of health and safety. At TeksMed, we provide a number of training seminars and consulting services aimed at helping businesses with workplace injuries. We also provide recovery-at-work assistance so that if an employee is injured, they can return to work safely.
For more information on the workplace safety and injury management services that we provide, contact us at 1-877-850-1021.