Albertans will gather on Friday, April 28th, for the National Day of Mourning. Ceremonies will be held across the province with a moment of silence to remember those who have lost their lives and those who have been injured due to a work-related incident or occupational illness.
Tammy Hawkins, Chief Operations Officer at the Alberta Construction Safety Association (ACSA) reflected on the importance of the Day and how it serves as not only a way to commemorate others but to remind those still working in the industry to always remain vigilant and safe.
Our hearts go out to all people and families who’ve been affected by injuries and fatalities related to workplace exposures,” Hawkins said.
“It is a day to commemorate those workers whose lives have been lost. Let this day also serve as a reminder to protect one another in the workplace—through our vigilance in maintaining safe and healthy practices and conditions.
“We encourage all members of the community to come out and join us for the many ceremonies taking place in regions across Alberta and help us spread the safety message. Together we can work toward a safer workplace, for all Albertans,” she said.
In 2016, Alberta lost 144 men and women to a work-related incident or occupational illness, the majority of whom (55.5 per cent) lost their lives to an occupational illness e.g. mesothelioma.
“Almost all workplace loss is preventable. We must each undertake appropriate education and training, and practice safe work practices and procedures to protect ourselves and others. We need to ensure everyone returns home safely at the end of each work day,” Hawkins concluded.
Ceremonies and other events are being hosted by the ACSA’s eight Regional Safety Committees throughout Alberta. These volunteer committees are comprised of representatives from construction and trades associations, along with worker members and are active in identifying regional and trade-specific health and safety training needs, as well as developing solutions to safety problems in the construction industry, particularly at the local level.