The average person will spend over approximately 1,800 hours a year at work. That is a lot of time, so it is important to know that your workplace is safe.

Unfortunately, workplace fatalities take place every year. Last year in Alberta alone there were 166 men and women who died because of a workplace injury or illness. That is up from 2016, where there were 116 workplace fatalities.

Every year on April 28, people around the world take a moment to remember all those we have lost on the National Day of Mourning.

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What was known as the Day of Remembrance was originally launched in 1984 by the Canadian Labour Congress, and in 1991 the Government of Canada passed the Workers Mourning Day Act making April 28 the official Day of Mourning.

It has now spread to over 100 countries around the world, in hopes that this day will help to establish healthy workplace conditions globally.

Flags fly at half-mast and ceremonies are held around the world.

Here in Alberta, the new Occupational Health and Safety Act will take effect June 1. Over the past few months, the Government of Alberta has asked Albertans to provide written submissions to help with new regulations.

The OHS defines workplace harassment and violence in all its forms, including sexual and domestic violence. The act requires employers and supervisors to ensure workers are not subject to nor participate in harassment and violence and to investigate incidents.

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Alberta will have the following ceremonies on April 28:

Edmonton and District Labour Council
Grant Notley Park at 2 p.m. For more details, please visit the Edmonton and District Labour Council’s website.

Alberta Construction and Safety Association
SAIT’s Orpheus Theatre at 11 a.m. Additional details can be found on the Calgary Day of Mourning Facebook event page or by emailing calgarydayofmourning@gmail.com.