On April 28, British Columbians remembered those who lost their lives while at work at Day of Mourning ceremonies held across the Lower Mainland and the province.
The Vancouver ceremony saw lighting of the Olympic Cauldron along with speeches from workers injured on the job, family members affected by workplace tragedy, and presentations from the B.C. ministry of labour, the BC Federation of Labour, WorkSafeBC and the Business Council of British Columbia.
“Today we mourn those who have lost their lives, send thoughts to people injured on the job, and vow to do more to protect today’s workers from injury or illness. The National Day of Mourning highlights the need for all of us to make workplace safety our priority, and today, I am proud to stand up and re-affirm my commitment to safe workplaces through action,” B.C. minister of labour Harry Bains said.
“The Day of Mourning gives added meaning and urgency to the need for safer, healthier workplaces. Health and safety must be our priority every day of the year. Workplace injury and work-related disease are preventable; they are not a cost of doing business,” WorkSafeBC interim president and CEO Brian Erickson added
In 2018 WorkSafeBC recorded 131 work-related death claims, with 66 as a result of occupational disease and 65 from traumatic injury. Construction had 30 deaths in the last year, the highest number of any sub-sector.