National Day of Mourning – April 28

The National Day of Mourning, held annually on April 28, was officially recognized by the federal government in 1991, eight years after the day of remembrance was launched by the Canadian Labour Congress. The Day of Mourning has since spread to about 80 countries around the world and has been adopted by the AFL-CIO and the International Confederation of Free Trade.

The numbers tell the story. In 2013, 902* workplace deaths were recorded in Canada. While it’s the lowest total since 2000 when 882 fatalities were recorded, this number still represents 2.47 deaths every single day.

In the 21 year period from 1993 to 2013, 18,941* people lost their lives due to work-related causes (an average of 902 deaths per year).

The National Day of Mourning, held annually on April 28, was officially recognized by the federal government in 1991, eight years after the day of remembrance was launched by the Canadian Labour Congress. The Day of Mourning has since spread to about 80 countries around the world and has been adopted by the AFL-CIO and the International Confederation of Free Trade.

The Canadian flag on Parliament Hill will fly at half-mast. Workers will light candles, don ribbons and black armbands and observe moments of silence. Businesses are asked to participate by declaring April 28 a Day of Mourning and to strive to prevent workplace deaths, illnesses and injuries.

CCOHS hopes that the annual observance of this day will strengthen the resolve to establish safe conditions in the workplace, and prevent injuries and deaths. As much as this is a day to remember the dead, it is also a call to protect the living.


*Fatalities accepted in 2013 according to "Number of Fatalities, by Jurisdiction 1993-2013" summary table, statistics from the Association of Workers Compensation Boards of Canada

Annual average according to "Number of Fatalities, by Jurisdiction 1993-2013" summary table, statistics from the Association of Workers Compensation Boards of Canada

For further statistical information visit the AWCBC National Work Injuries Statistics Program.

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Mourning Day Act

S.C. 1991, c. 15

An Act respecting a Day of Mourning for Persons Killed or Injured in the Workplace [Assented to 1st February, 1991]

WHEREAS it is desirable that Canadians should designate a day of mourning to remember workers killed, disabled or injured in the workplace and workers afflicted with industrial disease;

AND WHEREAS Canadians seek earnestly to set an example of their commitment to the issue of health and safety in the workplace;

NOW, THEREFORE, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows

Short title

1.This Act may be cited as the Workers Mourning Day Act.

Day of Mourning

2. (1) Throughout Canada, in each and every year, the 28th day of April shall be known under the name of "Day of Mourning for Persons Killed or Injured in the Workplace".

(2) For greater certainty, the Day of Mourning for Persons Killed or Injured in the Workplace is not a legal holiday or a non-juridical day and shall not be required to be kept or observed as such.

LifeQuilt

The LifeQuilt, a project by Threads of Life, is a unique and permanent memorial dedicated to the thousands of young women and men between the ages of 14 and 24, who have been killed and injured on the job. The quilt commemorates 100 young workers killed on the job with individual, personalized quilted blocks. One hundred injured young workers are recognized on the centre panel. Learn more

Monument Photos

The following are photos of monuments from around the world that have been erected and dedicated to workers whose lives have been lost on the job.

Canada

Day of Mourning Monument

Hamilton, ON, Canada

The Canadian Young Workers Memorial Quilt

Canadian Labour Congress Monument

Ottawa, ON, Canada

Falconbridge Mural

Sudbury, ON, Canada

Miner's Memorial Kirkland Lake,

ON, Canada

Rideau Canal Fabric Mural Memorial

Kingston, ON, Canada

Fire Fighter's Monument

Saskatoon, SK, Canada

"Breaking Ground" Hoggs Hollow Memorial

Toronto, ON, Canada

International

Hoover Dam Monument

Boulder, Colorado, USA

Airplane and Fishermen Monument

Hedinsfjordur, Iceland

Workers Memorial Day Stained Glass Window

Birmingham, England

If you know of a monument to fallen workers located anywhere in the world, please contact us. Be sure to include the location and a short description of what the monuments represents.

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