Day of Mourning
Every year, hundreds of thousands of workers suffer injury or illness on the job. In Canada approximately 900 workers a year lose their lives to workplace accidents. This is unacceptable. I believe all workplace accidents and injuries are preventable.
In 2016, the Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut received 3,567 reports of workplace accidents. Of this 826 were workers losing time from work. Additionally we had a worker die as a result of a workplace accident. Again, not acceptable.
Since 1949 we have tracked and recorded every workplace death in the two Territories, 462 to be exact which is an average of 7 deaths a year in the NWT and Nunavut.
To ensure we as a workforce and as a society do not lose sight of these accidents and deaths, the Canadian Labour Congress lobbied the Federal Government of the day to create a day that commemorates and remembers those workers whose lives were lost, injured or suffered an illness. In 1991 the Federal Government proclaimed April 28 as the official Day of Mourning. This is the day where we should all remember those lost or injured at work and follow up with action in the workplace and community to ensure this stops.
At noon on Friday April 28, 2017, the Northern Territories Federation of Labour (NTFL) will be hosting, at the Legislative Assembly in both Yellowknife and Iqaluit, a ceremony to remember those workers killed or injured at work. The Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission fully supports the workers, employers and the NTFL in endeavours to make the north a safer place to work. We are all responsible for safety. DG