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April 28 - National Day of Mourning

  • Bulletin; Health & Safety
We remember those who died, were injured or suffered illness on the job

Every year, on April 28, workers, families, employers, and others come together at events held around the country to remember those who have lost their lives on the job or suffered illness due to injury or exposure. It is also a day to renew our commitment to creating safer workplaces.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a stark reminder of the dangers health-care workers can face. Last year, there were 1,189 work-related claims and one work-related death due to COVID. According to WorkSafeBC, 151 BC workers died from a workplace injury or disease in 2020 – 63 fatalities due to traumatic injury and 88 fatalities due to occupational disease.

On April 28, join one of the hundreds of ceremonies across the country, or light your own candle in honour and reflection of the thousands of lives forever changed.

PARTICIPATE

April 28 ceremonies are being held in communities around BC. Visit Day of Mourning BC to find the ceremony nearest you.

If you are unable to attend an in-person ceremony, please visit Day of Mourning BC at 10:30 a.m. on April 28 to participate in an online ceremony followed by an important moment of silence and special video to recognize those workers lost.

HONOUR A FALLEN WORKER

If you would like to leave a note in honour of a fallen family member or co-worker, please visit the Day of Mourning commemoration site

To amplify your act of remembrance, please identify and report potential safety hazards in your worksite to your immediate supervisor or manager. You may also contact a BCNU steward or member of your workplace Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee. Visit the BCNU Member Portal and look under "contacts" to find your BCNU regional occupational health and safety representative.

Now an international observance, the declaration of April 28th as the Day of Mourning began here in Canada. In 1984, unions in Sudbury, Ontario, adopted the day as one to publicly acknowledge workplace injuries, illnesses, and deaths. The date of April 28th was chosen to reflect the anniversary of the day Ontario passed the Workers' Compensation Act in 1914. The Canadian Labour Congress held its first day of remembrance in 1986. On April 28, 1991, following passage of an Act in Parliament, Canada recognized its first National Day of Mourning for Persons Killed or Injured in the Workplace.

In the years since, more than 100 other countries have also adopted the observance, known widely as Workers' Memorial Day.

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