The National Day of Mourning is not only a day to honour those who have died or been injured as a result of workplace tragedy but is also a day to collectively renew our commitment to improving workplace health and safety and preventing injuries, illnesses and fatalities.
According to the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada (AWCBC), there were 1081 workplace fatalities in 2021 in Canada, 1009 men and 72 women. Among those who died were 29 young workers between the ages of 15 and 24.
In addition to these fatalities, 277,217 claims were accepted (an increase of 23,820 from the previous year) for lost work time due to a workplace injury or illness, of which 34,548 were for workers between the ages of 15 and 24; it should be noted that these statistics only reflect accidents reported to and accepted by workers’ compensation boards, but there is no doubt that the total number of workers affected is even higher.
These are not the only numbers we need to think about. Behind every tragedy are loved ones, family members, friends and co-workers who are directly affected, left behind and deeply scarred – their lives too have been forever changed.
Unfortunately, our work contributed significantly to these statistics. As workplace violence increases, injuries rise. Everyday injuries both physical and mental are occurring within our membership. We must all be part of the health and safety solution.
We recognize correctional officers who have suffered physical and mental injuries and WE REMEMBER those who have been lost because of their duty.
We call on the employer to work to end the violence in our institutions and support our fight for safe workplaces.