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Day of Mourning – April 28th

The “Day of Mourning” is a day intended to recognize those who lost their lives as a result of a work-related incident or occupational diseases.

Day of Mourning ceremonies have been held across the country ever since the Canadian Labour Congress initiated a national Day of Mourning ceremony on April 28, 1984 and is now recognized annually around the world in more than 100 countries.

April 28th was chosen because it was on this date in 1914 that the first Workers’ Compensation Act was brought into effect in Canada.

This year’s ceremonies held April 28th to commemorate workers.

Note: Additional information, as well as additional resources such as ordering posters and crew talks are available on WorksafeBC’s Day of Mourning page or at the bottom of this page.

  • Deaths from workplace injury average nearly a thousand per year in Canada.
  • There are approximately one million workplace injuries a year in Canada
  • A compensable injury occurs every seven seconds of each working day.

How to use this tool

  • Day of Mourning resources can be used to help inform workers of workplace injuries and fatalities.

Recommended delivery

  • The powerpoint presentation may be used during a company safety meeting
  • The crew talk provides information to share with workers during a tailgate meeting
  • The additional resources can provide further information for planning activities or acknowledging workplace fatalities.

Suggested practices

  • Safety Bulletins/Alerts – Produce a Safety Alert or Bulletin for your company to recognize workers seriously hurt or killed performing a duty similar to those of your workers. Include your safe work procedures, emergency response procedures or encourage workers to get involved in company safety efforts through reporting or Joint Health & Safety Committee initiatives.
  • Crew Talks/Safety Meetings – Use the Crew Talk to help to remind workers of potential worksite and job-related hazards. Start a conversation and get some feedback and insight on how your company can implement additional efforts to help reduce injuries and fatalities.
  • Plan a Safety Stand Down – A “Safety Stand Down” is a coordinated company or crew effort where work is paused to address either a specific safety concern or general safety awareness. Safety Stand Downs can be brief such as radioing workers to shut down equipment/work for a moment to acknowledge a moment of silence followed by a few words from the owner or supervisor re-affirming the company’s commitment to making safety a priority or they can be more involved such as planning drills or training in conjunction with Joint Health & Safety Committee initiatives or a meeting with the owners/managers to discuss safety concerns.
  • Safety Management System (SMS) development – A company may wish to review the circumstances surrounding the fatalities and assess how their system may have responded. For example – in an incident where communication was an issue, a company may wish to check the if communication devices are all functioning properly, confirm phone numbers in the ERP are accurate, plan a drill to test worker responses, check training records for expiry dates and ask workers if they could see potential improvements for the company SMS.

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BCFSC does not imply or express any guarantee or compliance for your particular company situation.

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