Each year, WorkplaceNL observes the National Day of Mourning to remember workers who were injured or lost their lives due to their job.
The day was officially recognized by the federal government in 1991 and since then, the Day of Mourning has spread to about 100 countries around the world.
Unfortunately, there were 26 work-related fatalities in 2019; 10 accidental and 16 from occupational disease. In the past five years, 124 workers in Newfoundland and Labrador have lost their lives as result of workplace incidents or occupational disease.
Last year, 44 per cent of the occupational disease fatality claims were from the mining industry. These tragedies relate to exposures to harmful substances that mostly happened from the 1950s to 1980s.
These tragedies can have a devastating impact on families, coworkers, employers and communities. They should also call us all to action and remind us that we all need to work safely and protect ourselves, and each other, from hazards.
On this year’s Day of Mourning, we encourage you to keep health and safety top of mind both at work and at home. Together we can help make sure every worker returns home safely to their loved ones at the end of the day.