Day of Mourning

Day of Mourning

Posted on April 29, 2019

By Steven Hnatishin, Program Manager

April 28 was a national day of mourning in Canada, for workers who have lost their lives or had their lives forever altered by accident or illness in the workplace.

Last year, 25 families were forever changed as a result of workplace deaths due to accidents and illness in Manitoba, which is 25 too many. National Day of Mourning is an opportunity to reflect back on these lives lost or changed forever. It is in part through those sacrifices that we have advanced safety and health in our workplaces; helping us learn valuable lessons and drive forward the importance of safety at all times.

Events like the Day of Mourning help us refocus and remember who we are working for. We work for the lives lost or forever altered, but never forgotten. We do this for people working right now to ensure they return home at the end of each day safely to loved ones. We work to keep ourselves and our work families safe. On a personal note, as a father to young children, I do this also in the hopes that the time comes for my own kids to enter the workplace, the right to a safe and secure work environment is a universally-accepted truth and years without incident are the norm.

Manufacturing is safer, cleaner and stronger than ever. Manufacturing injury rates have dropped dramatically in the past decade, but we won’t rest until every worker is safe. We honour the sacrifices of those who have been hurt or killed in the workplace by working diligently to improve the safety and health of our plants, factories and offices. We will not forget what the stakes are in the safety and health profession. The work of safety and health cannot be understated.

I would like to invite you to join me this week in extending the mindset behind Day of Mourning beyond just one day on our calendar, to a daily reminder of what’s at stake and our obligation to ensure our workers return home the same way they arrived. This day, this week, this month and this year, let us keep the sacrifice of others in our hearts, in our thoughts, and in our actions.