As Canada’s National Day of Mourning approaches on April 28, 2021 we are reminded of how precious life is. As we pay tribute to workers who have died, been injured, or made ill from their work, let us also renew our organizational commitments to preventing future workplace tragedies.
Amidst a global pandemic, let us be cognisant of its psychological impact on our people at work and also pay tribute to those essential and frontline workers who sacrificed their health — and even their lives — as they keep serving during the pandemic.
In these modern times, it is unthinkable that someone could lose their life at work — yet here we are. The pandemic aside, multiple lives are lost every day due to workplace incidents. The reality is that the number of incidents has not changed much over recent years (OHS Canada, October 2020).
According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), more than 2.78 million workers die every year as a result of occupational incidents or work-related diseases. Additionally, there are some 374 million non-fatal work-related injuries each year, resulting in more than four days of absences from work. The human cost of this daily adversity is vast, and the economic burden of poor occupational safety and health practices is estimated at 3.94 percent of global gross domestic product each year.
While we mourn the loss of so many who have lost their lives in the workplace and those that live with and suffer from work-related health issues and injuries, let’s also remember that most of these incidents are preventable. With a strong workplace health and safety management system, you can help mitigate workplace incidents and prevent fatalities.
Again, let us as a nation renew our commitment to proactively plan for safety and prevent workplace fatalities and physical and psychological injuries and illnesses.
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