ORAZIETTI MARKS NATIONAL DAY OF MOURNING FOR WORKERS KILLED OR INJURED ON THE JOB
Queen’s Park – At Queen’s Park today, flags were lowered and a moment of silence observed to honour fallen and injured workers as the provincial government marks the National Day of Mourning, announced David Orazietti, MPP.
“Every year on April 28, it is important to pay tribute to those that have lost their lives or have been injured while working,” said Orazietti. “Workers and their families need to know they will be protected from workplace accidents and this has strengthened our government’s initiatives for safe, fair and healthy work environments.”
The Canadian Labour Congress declared April 28 Canada’s Day of Mourning in 1984; commemorating the day the third reading of the first comprehensive Workers’ Compensation Act in Ontario occurred in 1914. The Day of Mourning was officially proclaimed by an Act of Parliament on February 1, 1991. Traditionally, the day is marked with vigils, candle lighting, ceremonies, unveiling of monuments, memorial services and other special events including an observance of silence at 11 a.m.
Improving workplace health and safety must be a community effort – employers, workers and parents all have a role to play. Employers must provide safe workplaces, with appropriate training and education. Workers must follow safety procedures and report any safety hazards or concerns. Parents need to talk to their children about health and safety before they begin summer or part-time jobs.
As a government, Ontario is working hard to prevent injuries and fatalities in the workplace. Some initiatives include:
- Doubling the number of health and safety enforcement officers in the province – injury rates have decreased by 30%
- Being the first province in Canada to introduce mandatory health and safety training for workers and supervisors, which came into effect in July 2014
- Creating the province’s first ever Chief Prevention Officer, as well as launching a province-wide occupational health and safety strategy developed with input from labour, employers, injured workers and community groups
- Since 2007, Ontario has increased injured workers’ benefits by nearly ten per cent, helping approximately 150,000 injured workers
The province will continue to work with industry and community partners to prevent injuries and build safe, productive workplaces for all Ontarians.