April 28 is not just another ordinary day, it is the Day of Mourning
April 28 is not just another ordinary day, it is the Day of Mourning.
“It is a day to remember those who have lost their lives in workplaces across Canada. It is a day to pay tribute to those who live with the effects of a workplace injury or illness, and who strive to move their lives forward with hope and dignity,” says a statement on the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board’s Day of Mourning website.
Observers can light a candle on the WSIB’s Day of Mourning website, www.wsibdayofmourning.ca, write tributes on Facebook or send a tweet using #dayofmourning. For the Ontario Ministry of Labour, while April 28 is a day to remember the thousands of workers who have been killed, injured or suffered illness as a result of work-related incidents, it is also a reminder to strive to prevent such incidents from happening.
“By working together — with employers, workers and our health and safety partners — we can prevent worker injuries and deaths before they occur,” says a statement on the MOL website.
During his April 2 report to the Provincial Labour-Management Health and Safety Committee, Mike Chappell, provincial coordinator for the Construction Health and Safety Program at the Ministry of Labour noted that there had been only two fatalities in the construction sector for 2014, reports the Council of Ontario Construction Associations. One fatality was the result of a fall from a ladder and the other when a worker became trapped under a collapsed structure.
There has been one more fatality since then with the death of an Ottawa construction worker on April 21 after the worker suffered a severe head trauma after being struck by a section of wall under demolition.
By the end of March 2014, there were 13 critical injuries, versus 26 last year. Of those critical injuries in 2014, six were from falls, five from ladders. Seven were in the residential sector, four in the ICI sector, one in commercial and one in pipeline. The MOL will conduct a safety blitz on trenching and excavation in May due to the increased numbers of accidents and injuries in the sector.
To mark the Day of Mourning, the CN Tower will be lit yellow, a colour symbolic of hope, at sunset on April 28.
Events will be held across the province and the country. In the Greater Toronto Area, there will be an event held at the Woodbridge Memorial Arena at 11 a.m. and in Toronto at Larry Sefton Park, behind City Hall, at noon.
Visit wdct.ca/dayofmourning/ for more information.