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Press Release

Government of Canada remembers on National Day of Mourning

Canada NewsWire

OTTAWA, April 24, 2013 /CNW/ - As well as honouring workers who have been injured or killed by on-the-job accidents, the annual National Day of Mourning on April 28th reminds us to strive for safer and healthier workplaces through education, cooperation and action.

"The National Day of Mourning gives Canadians the opportunity to get together to pay tribute to the victims of accidents and illnesses at work and to renew Canada's commitment to health and safety at work," said the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Canada's Labour Minister. "Injuries, illnesses or deaths caused by work-related accidents deeply affect our families and communities. Everyone deserves to come home safe and sound at the end of their workday."

The numbers themselves are a stark reminder: in Canada, close to 1 000 workers die every year as a result of work-related accidents.  Another disturbing statistic is that young workers are far more likely than adults to be injured on the job. Although they work only 10 percent of the hours of all workers, young workers account for 16 percent of all work-related injuries.

"We all need to do a better job of ensuring that young workers are properly prepared for work. Promoting safe and healthy workplaces across Canada is a shared responsibility. Everyone—employers, employees, governments and organizations—has a role to play. Together we can work towards achieving a model for safe and healthy workplaces," added Minister Raitt.

Acting together contributes to ensuring success for safer and healthier workplaces. Over the last decade, collective efforts from employers, employees, regulators and stakeholders have resulted in significant improvements: the disabling injuries rate in federally regulated workplaces dropped 33 percent between 2000 and 2010.

"This positive development reminds us of the importance of remaining vigilant in our commitment to ensuring that we work together to understand workplace hazards, identify potential risks and find solutions to the issues that threaten health and safety at work," concluded Minister Raitt.

The National Day of Mourning was initiated in Canada and officially recognized by the Canadian government in 1991. It is now commemorated in nearly 80 countries and in many communities across Canada. Canada's Labour Minister, Lisa Raitt, will be at the Central Library in Oakville, Ontario, at 11 a.m. on Sunday, April 28, to highlight the event.

The Labour Program develops, administers and enforces workplace legislation and regulations, such as the Canada Labour Code, which covers industrial relations, health, safety and employment standards for federally regulated workers and employers. 

Resources and tools on health and safety for young workers, parents and teachers are available in the Young Workers Zone on the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety website. For more information on occupational health and safety and rights in the workplace, young workers can also visit Are you in danger? at youth.gc.ca

SOURCE: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

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