Every year, approximately 1,000 Canadian workers and 5,000 American workers die in work-related incidents. On April 28, the International Day of Mourning–which is also known as Workers’ Memorial Day–we pay our respects to fellow workers who were injured or killed on the job.
Tragedy in Numbers
In Canada, approximately three workers die on the job every day and more than 900,000 workplace injuries are reported every year.
In the US, an average of 12 workers die each day from injuries received at work and approximately 9,000 American workers are treated in emergency wards each day because of occupational injuries.
Raising Awareness Worldwide
The International Day of Mourning is set aside to not only to commemorate the dead, ill and injured, but also raise awareness of the importance of occupational health and safety and its role in preventing these needless tragedies. More than 85 countries worldwide recognize this important day.
What Can You Do?
“Mourn for the dead, fight for the living” is the theme of the day. Here are six ways you can do that:
1. Post our infographic in your workplace to remind everyone in your workplace of the importance of safety, how many workers die each year in Canada and the leading causes of workplace deaths.
2. Be a safety mentor to a new worker. Mentoring is an effective way to use what could be your company’s greatest untapped resource—your experienced workers—to train new workers. Mentoring can be used as a stand-alone program or within an existing OHS program to reduce incidents and injuries, cut claims and produce a more safety conscious workforce. Our sister site, SafetySmart, offers some tips on how you can mentor your company to safety success.
3. Find the lesson to be learned from a workplace injury or fatality.
4. Hold a candlelight vigil to remember workers who died.
5. Take 5 minutes to listen to Stacy Smallwood’s OHS performance poetry, a beautiful tribute to those who died on the job.
6. No matter what part of North Americayou’re in, dedicate a flower to a fallen worker on the WorkSafeBC memorial website. As you watch the flower fall, take a moment of silence to honour a friend, family member or colleague.