Apr 21, 2019

MourningHeld annually in Canada on April 28, the National Day of Mourning is dedicated to remembering those who have lost their lives, or suffered injury or illness on the job or due to a work-related tragedy. It’s also a day to strengthen our resolve and establish safer work practices and conditions.

The most recent statistics from the Association of Workers' Compensation Boards of Canada (AWCBC) tell us that in 2017, 951 workplace fatalities were recorded in Canada. Add to these fatalities the 251,508 accepted claims for lost time due to a work-related injury or disease. The fact that these statistics include only what is reported and accepted by the compensation boards, makes clear that the total number of workers impacted is even greater.

And it’s not just these numbers on which we need to reflect. With each worker tragedy there are loved ones, family members, friends and co-workers who are directly affected, left behind, and deeply impacted – their lives also forever changed.

How you can commemorate the Day of Mourning

Many employers and workers will observe Day of Mourning in a variety of ways. Some light candles, lay wreaths, wear commemorative pins, ribbons or black armbands, and pause for a moment of silence at 11:00 a.m.

Consider also raising funds for Threads of Life, a national charitable organization that supports families after a workplace fatality, life-altering injury or occupational disease. As the world’s first organization to offer a peer support program for family members living in the aftermath of a workplace tragedy, it’s also a model for similar organizations in other countries. Learn more about Threads of Life.

Find out more about the Day of Mourning from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety.