Ontario’s Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn released the following statement today:
“Today is the Day of Mourning — a day when we pause to honour and remember all people who have been killed or injured on the job.
The Day of Mourning was established to mark an important event for workers. It was on April 28, 1914, that the Ontario Legislature passed the first Worker’s Compensation Act. Now, on each Day of Mourning, we take time to remember, reflect and re-commit.
We remember lives lost or forever changed by the simple act of going to work. We reflect on the past and we re-commit ourselves to making workplace health and safety a priority and to taking action to prevent workplace tragedies.
Together, we have come a long way. Over the past decade our province’s annual rate of workplace injuries has dropped by more than 40 per cent, making Ontario’s workplaces among the safest in the world.
Despite this progress, too many people continue to lose their lives or suffer an injury or illness because they showed up to work.
No job is worth a life. No job is worth an injury.
We know we cannot rest as long as one person is injured on the job. Regulation and enforcement alone are not enough. We must change society’s attitudes. Workplace injuries can never be seen as just the ‘cost of doing business.’
On this day, we must each dedicate ourselves to doing what we can so that people who go to work also return home safe and sound every day. I urge all Ontarians to make workplace health and safety a personal priority – discuss it with your colleagues, speak to your children. All Ontarians need to know they should refuse unsafe work, and all employers need to know they are responsible for the actions of their employees”.