For Immediate Release
April 28, 2011
ORAZIETTI MARKS NATIONAL DAY OF MOURNING FOR WORKERS KILLED OR INJURED ON THE JOB
Sault Ste. Marie – David Orazietti MPP attended the National Day of Mourning ceremony at the former Steelworkers Union Hall today to honour fallen and injured workers.
“On this day it is important to pay our respects to those that have lost their lives or have been injured on the job and let their experience help us to protect others from workplace accidents in the future,” said Orazietti. “The expectation that when a loved one goes to work they will return home has guided our government’s commitment to safe, fair and healthy workplaces.”
Each year on April 28 we pay tribute to workers who have suffered a work-related injury, illness or fatality: it is a day to keep in our hearts and minds the millions of Ontarians whose lives have been forever changed by a workplace accident or death.
The Canadian Labour Congress declared April 28 Canada’s Day of Mourning in 1984, the day that third reading took place for the first comprehensive Workers’ Compensation Act in Ontario in 1914. Day of Mourning was proclaimed by an Act of Parliament on February 1, 1991. Traditionally, the day is marked with vigils, candle lighting, ceremonies, unveiling of monuments, memorial services and other special events with an observance of silence at 11 a.m.
Improving workplace health and safety must be a community effort – employers, workers and parents all have a role to play. Employers must provide safe workplaces, with appropriate training and education. Workers must follow safety procedures and report any safety hazards or concerns. Parents need to talk to their sons and daughters about health and safety before they begin summer or part-time jobs.
The Day of Mourning remains a stark, yet important, reminder that there is more to be done to improve workplace health and safety. Working together, we can achieve our goal of healthier and safer workplaces in Ontario.
The McGuinty government has implemented a number of initiatives to defend workers rights since taking office in 2003 including:
- ·Reduced workplace injuries by more than 30% preventing over 50,000 workplace injuries
- ·Expanded the provincial Employment Standards claim centre in Sault Ste. Marie creating more than 44 new jobs
- ·$3.6 million annually to improve service delivery and shorten the time it takes to resolve employment standards claim
- ·Reformed the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act that will give more than 155,000 injured workers their first real benefit increase in 12 years
- ·Hired over 200 new health and safety inspectors, nearly doubling their ranks
- ·Extended Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) coverage to more Workers including farm workers
- ·Recovered $4.1 million in wages owing to vulnerable employees
- ·Established employment standards inspection team to conduct proactive inspections in targeted sectors