National Day of Mourning, April 28

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” hundred_percent_height=”no” hundred_percent_height_scroll=”no” hundred_percent_height_center_content=”yes” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” status=”published” publish_date=”” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=””][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”intro-text” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” undefined=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” hover_type=”none” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_text columns=”” column_min_width=”” column_spacing=”” rule_style=”default” rule_size=”” rule_color=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=””]Good Day Brothers and Sisters,

In 1984, the Canadian Labour Congress first declared April 28th as the “National Day of Mourning”.

This is the day we have come to recognize as the day we honour or pay tribute to those that have passed on, due to a workplace fatality or an occupational disease.  Today marks the 31st anniversary of this somber occasion and it has come to be recognized as such, by over 80 nations worldwide. We pause to reflect on this day to ensure those that have lost their lives are not forgotten, but also to provide “hope” that we will eradicate workplace deaths and occupational diseases.

In 1991 Parliament enacted the “Workers Mourning Day Act” as follows:

Workers Mourning Day Act

S.C. 1991, c. 15

Assented to 1991-02-01

An Act respecting a Day of Mourning for Persons Killed or Injured in the Workplace

WHEREAS it is desirable that Canadians should designate a day of mourning to remember workers killed, disabled or injured in the workplace and workers afflicted with industrial disease;

AND WHEREAS Canadians seek earnestly to set an example of their commitment to the issue of health and safety in the workplace;

NOW, THEREFORE, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows: the Workers Mourning Day Act

It is interesting to read the second “whereas”, because it compels us to “earnestly” set an example of our responsibility and commitment to the issue of health and safety in the workplace. It presents each and every one of us with the opportunity to reflect on our personal commitment to health and safety in our industry. Are we really effective and diligent and do we earnestly do what we can to set an example.  The only way we will accomplish our goal of eliminating occupational disease and putting an end to workplace injuries and fatalities is to make this personal commitment and then follow through.

In 2013 there were 188 workplace fatalities in Alberta. In 2014 that number decreased to 169 but is still higher than the numbers reported for 2010, 2011 and 2012. Across Canada we are recording well over 900 workplace deaths each year, on average, which works out to about two and a half deaths per day. And these are only the statistics that are reported and recorded. As proud as the Unionized Construction Sector can be about its record in regards to workplace safety there is no doubt Brothers and Sisters, we still have some work to do.

The purpose of recognizing the Day of Mourning is to bring national and global attention to this issue. That attention should breed some ongoing or lasting awareness, and that awareness needs to bring about action. So as you think about this day and engage in your everyday life I would ask that you reflect and converse with your colleagues and co-workers as to whether you are “earnestly setting an example of your personal commitment to workplace health and safety.”

Fraternally Yours,

Warren Fraleigh, Building Trades of Alberta[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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