April 28 is officially recognized as the National Day of Mourning in Canada. Commemorated annually since 1991, this day is dedicated to remembering workers who have suffered a workplace illness, been injured or lost their lives while performing their job.  

The National Day of Mourning is intended to shine light and reflect on the dangers that workers face in the workplace and to create mindfulness about workplace incidents and their dire consequences. The goal of this day is to spread awareness with hopes of improving worksite safety for workers in all industries.   

The Faces Behind the Numbers 

According to the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada, there were 951 fatalities and over 250,000 lost time injuries and claims in 2017. Behind each of those numbers is a life, a career, and relationships that were forever changed. Families and co-workers need to mourn and adapt to a new way of living. Employers must rebuild, re-hire and move on. Injured workers must go through treatment and rehabilitation.

Doing Our Part 

As April 28 approaches, it’s time to renew our commitments on how we ensure a safe and healthy workplace. We encourage everyone to do their part by thinking and honouring workers who have been affected by workplace illness, injury and fatalities, and reflect on how we can all perform our jobs in a safer way and how working safe can affect our lives.