In 1984, the Canadian Labour Congress established April 28th as the National Day of Mourning in Canada to remember and honour those who have died, been injured, or suffered occupational illness in the workplace.
Canadian flags on Parliament Hill and at Queen’s Park fly at half-mast on April 28th. The day is traditionally observed in many ways including holding public ceremonies, wearing black and yellow ribbons, lighting candles, observing a moment of silence at 11:00 a.m. and sharing stories about how workplace tragedies have touched peoples’ lives.
Ontario has a well-established system of laws and regulations, enforced by the Ministry of Labour, Skills and Training Development, that ultimately seeks to ensure the health and safety of every worker, no matter their industry, in Ontario. Despite having one of the best lost time injury records in Canada – each year, many workers in Ontario report into work and either suffer a critical injury – or never return to their friends and families at the end of the working day.
According to the WSIB’s year-end report for 2022 (click here to read), Ontario recorded 77 fatalities as a result of traumatic workplace accidents; 132 due to occupational diseases or illnesses and 11 due to workers who contracted COVID-19 at their workplace.
For health and safety professionals, these deaths (and every accident) at a workplace are preventable. At HR Performance & Results Inc., we have a specialized team of health and safety experts who will assist your business in achieving health and safety compliance with the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act and its associated Regulations (applicable to the type of work and industry you operate in). However, in the spirit of the WSIB Day of Mourning, it’s crucial to say that one of HRPAR’s key recommendations is that health and safety is not just about achieving minimum compliance with health and safety laws, but to work towards creating a ‘’health and safety first’’ culture at a workplace. By doing so, not only does it give employers the best possible chance of avoiding fines and terms of imprisonment, but it also ensures that critical injuries and fatalities can be eliminated from a workplace – thereby boosting employee morale and retention and making an employer an ‘employer of choice’. After all, no one wants their loved one to attend work and never come home again.
Please contact HR Performance & Results Inc. today and allow our team to guide you through health and safety compliance and best practices for your business and your industry.