National recognition for lost loved ones

VANCOUVER — It’s not a celebratory occasion, but April 28 is an important day for many workplaces.

The national Day of Mourning is in its 24th year and is a time to remember workers who were killed or seriously injured while on the job.

Initiated by the Canadian Labour Congress in 1984, the day marks the opportunity to reflect on the importance of health and safety in the workplace and to commemorate those whose lives were tragically cut short.

“We mourn for families that have lost a parent, spouse, son or daughter due to a workplace death,” said B.C. Labour and Citizens’ Services Minister Olga Ilich at a gathering in Vancouver.

In B.C. last year, 139 people lost their lives while at work, while Alberta suffered 154 losses and Saskatchewan had 36 such losses.

“By insisting on safety training for employees, by enforcing safety compliance at work sites, and by being mindful of safe work practices every moment of every day – together we can prevent these tragic accidents from happening,” added the minister.

Many similar gatherings were held across Canada to remember workplace tragedies, but Canada isn’t alone anymore. In 1996, it became the International Day of Mourning and now over 80 countries participate in remembering fallen workers.

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