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National Day of Mourning

2012 April 28
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Today is the 28th of April, the National Day of Mourning for Workers Killed at Work.

Each year in Canada work­ers, employ­ers and cit­i­zens gather to pay their respects to peo­ple killed at work. This is as impor­tant a day in my mind as November 11. Why?

  • I believe that every­one who wants to con­tribute to soci­ety should be able to work and be paid a fair wage for their efforts.
  • I believe that every­one who goes to work is enti­tled to a safe workplace.
  • I believe that every­one who goes to work is enti­tled to go home to their lives, their loved ones, their hopes and dreams every day.
  • I believe that a safe work­place is a pro­duc­tive workplace.
  • I believe that engi­neers, tech­nol­o­gists, tech­ni­cians, trades­per­sons and oth­ers that design, build, main­tain and mod­ify machin­ery have an eth­i­cal and moral oblig­a­tion to ensure the ongo­ing safety of those that use the prod­ucts that result from their work.

Every year in Canada hun­dreds of peo­ple die at work. As you can see, despite increas­ing efforts to reg­u­late safety in the work­place, the annual toll as shown by the red trend line con­tin­ues to rise.

Total Canadian Workplace Fatalities 1993-2010

Total Canadian Workplace Fatalities 1993–2010

These fig­ures come from the National Work Injury Statistics Program (NWISP), and the source chart can be found here.

What can we do to reverse this trend? I think we need to “be the change we want to see in the world’, mak­ing cer­tain that we take the time to under­stand the reg­u­la­tions and stan­dards that apply to our designs, that we imple­ment the best tech­no­log­i­cal solu­tions in those designs, and that we ensure that we do not endan­ger oth­ers by ren­der­ing those safety sys­tems ineffective.

Today, take a moment to pause at 11:00 and be silent. Light a can­dle or hold a vigil. You won’t be alone. Then, work for change.

These are just some of the rea­sons why this day is so impor­tant to me. What about you? Do you know some­one whose life ended at work? Do you know a fam­ily that has been affected by a work­place injury or fatal­ity? Please share your thoughts and sto­ries in the comments!

Want to know more about the Canadian National Day of Mourning? See this page and this page.

Post By Doug Nix (94 Posts)

+DougNix is Managing Director and Principal Consultant at Compliance InSight Consulting, Inc. (http://​www​.com​pli​an​cein​sight​.ca) in Kitchener, Ontario, and is Lead Author and Managing Editor of the Machinery Safety 101 blog.

Doug’s work includes teach­ing machin­ery risk assess­ment tech­niques pri­vately and through Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning in Kitchener, Ontario, as well as pro­vid­ing tech­ni­cal ser­vices and train­ing pro­grams to clients related to risk assess­ment, indus­trial machin­ery safety, safety-​​related con­trol sys­tem inte­gra­tion and reli­a­bil­ity, laser safety and reg­u­la­tory conformity.

Website: → Compliance inSight Consulting Inc.

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