Every day, an estimated three workers die in work-related incidents and more than 900,000 workplace injuries are reported every year. In Alberta alone, there was a record high number of 188 workplace deaths. With fatalities rates on the rise, it is time to realize the need for change.
Today, April 28, is the National Day of Mourning. On this day, the whole nation pays its respects to all workers who have been killed, injured or disabled on the job, or who suffer from occupational diseases. In 1984, the Labour Congress first declared April 28th as Canada’s Day of Mourning. This year marks its 30th anniversary.
The National Day of Mourning is held yearly not just to commemorate the dead, ill and injured, but also to raise awareness of the importance of workplace safety and health, and its role in preventing these needless occupational tragedies.
Organizations and individuals are encouraged to take a proactive role in promoting health and safety in the workplace. Take the time to recognize fellow workers who have been affected by work-related illnesses, injuries and deaths. Offer a moment of silence for them. Wear ribbons and armbands to show your support. You can also do this by looking for ways to improve the safety and health conditions of your facility.
Seton Canada is with you in honouring and remembering those who have lost their lives in the workplace. We are committed to promoting safety awareness in the workplace. Here are some ways that you and your company can do to increase safety and health awareness at work:
Promote employee safety at work. Put up safety signs in your workplace to remind everyone of the importance of safety and following safety rules and regulations. You can also post infographics on the number of worker deaths in Canada each year and the leading causes of workplace deaths and illness.
Be a safety mentor. Mentoring is an effective way to train new workers on the ins and outs of the job – including the correct safety practices. This can be a separate program or can supplement your current OHS program to decrease injuries and incidents, cut claims, and create a more safety conscious work environment. Use safety training tools for a more comprehensive training program.
Learn from it. Find the lessons to be learned from a workplace injury or fatality. Figure out the causes and find solutions to prevent such incidents from happening again.
Most workplace deaths are tragic events that could have been preventable. With proper training and awareness on safety regulations, the number of workplace fatalities can decrease. National Day of Mourning is the day to honour the dead, but it is also a day to remind us of the need to protect the living.
But today, let us all take the time to wear our armbands and ribbons, light a candle, and observe a moment of silence for our fellow workers who are no longer with us.
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