Important To Recognize Day of Mourning

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.


Canadians Honour Fallen Workers With Day of Mourning

Going to work is something millions of people across Canada do every day. Whether you are working in construction or sitting behind a desk, no one should ever have to feel unsafe in their workplace.

Unfortunately, every year we have workplace fatalities in Canada. On April 28 we remember those who have been injured or have lost their lives with the Day of Mourning.

In Alberta we lost 144 women and men to workplace injury or illness in 2016.

On Parliament Hill and at government buildings across the country flags will fly at half-mast and there will be a moment of silence at 11 a.m.

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  around the world.

The latest statistics from the Workers Compensation Board of Canada shows that in 2015 there were 852 workplace deaths in Canada. They also found that there were 232,629 claims for lost time due to a work-related injury or disease and 8,155 of those were from workers 15 to 19.

There will be events across Alberta to honour the day:

Edmonton and District Labour Council
Amphitheatre in Borden Park at 12:15 p.m. For more details, please visit the Edmonton and District Labour Council's website.

Central Alberta Chapter and Parkland Regional Safety Committee
Red Deer City Hall (west-side steps) at 11 a.m.

Calgary Day of Mourning Committee
SAIT Aldred Centre at 11 a.m.


National Day Of Mourning: Teamsters 362 Member Attends Ceremony Recognizing Importance Of Worker Safety

A workplace should be a place where everyone feels safe, but unfortunately there are still work related injuries and fatalities that happen every year in Alberta and across the country.

Now in its 19th year, the National Day of Mourning took place once again on April 28. Teamsters 362 Business Agent Ryan Adams attended this year’s ceremony in Edmonton at Grant Notley Park.

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At 4 p.m. 150 people gathered in the park to recognize the day, assembling by the 'Broken Families' obelisk that stands 14 feet tall and is dedicated to workers who have lost their lives. It was unveiled on the National Day of Mourning two years ago.

The crowd was filled with union members carrying flags, family members who had lost a love one in the workplace and members of the community who were there to show their support.

The ceremony included members of parliament who spoke about the importance of workplace safety and also people who talked about loved ones they had lost.

For Adams who attended for the first time, it was an experience that brought up a lot of different emotions. He said he felt sad and humbled by the power of the experience, while also feeling proud to be part of the unions who were all there to show support for the important ceremony.

“At the end of the day we all want to come home and be with our family. Nobody wants to hear about or experience a loss or an injury – whether it’s the husband, wife or child who doesn’t come home from trying to make an honest days living,” he said.

The National Day of Mourning is held annually on April 28. It was officially recognized by the federal government in 1991 and has since spread to about 80 countries around the world.

According to the Occupational Health and Safety Data from the Workers Compensation Board in Alberta, 169 people died in 2014 in Alberta in a job site incident or from a work-related illness. From 2010 to 2014 that number is at 761.

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Adams said that the speakers also talked about workplace bullying and mental health in the workplace, something Teamsters 362 has been working hard to bring awareness to with the #MakeItMandatory Campaign.

One of the most important aspects of the day for Adams was bringing workplace safety to the forefront – something we may not think about all of the time.

“It is kind of taken for granted that come 5:30, or whatever your punch out time is, that you will make it home and have dinner with the family. It sadly doesn’t happen that way all of the time,” he said. “Any kind of death or injury in the workplace is something that needs to be recognized and addressed.”