Tuesday, April 28 is National Day of Mourning. This is the day when we remember and reflect on those who have lost their lives on the job or have suffered injury or illness in their workplace.
Over the past 21 years, from 1993 to 2013, nearly 19,000 have lost their lives on the job. That’s an average of over 900 deaths per year.
In healthcare, workplace injury is a very serious issue. Healthcare workers face many different occupational hazards including slips, trips and falls, musculoskeletal Disorder (MSDs), repetitive strain injuries, and needle sticks every day.
Employees who work in long-term and homecare environments also have to deal with potential physical, mental and verbal abuse by the very people they are caring for. Of the more than 70,000 Ontarians in long-term care, about 11% are considered severely aggressive. That's an average of about 13 people per home. Any anyone can be their target, staff, family members and even other residents.
We are happy to report that there were no known workplace deaths that occurred at an SEIU Healthcare facility. But we must be vigilant – proactive education and prevention measures are the key to avoiding workplace mishaps.
The number of workplace deaths throughout Canada has gone down since 2012. In 2013, 902 people were died on the job work a drop from 977 the year before.
Even though we have made progress, there is still much work to be done. According to the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada (AWCBC), there were 4 fatalities within the health and social service industries in Ontario in 2013. This number is still too high.
That’s why employees need to speak up. We need to bring more attention to this important issue and create greater public awareness. Even one injury or death cannot be acceptable. Many times, these deaths could have been prevented.
On April 28 at 11:00 am, SEIU will be participating in several National Day of Mourning events across the GTHA. Please join us in solidarity with our brothers and sisters while we pause and remember those workers who have been killed, injured or suffered illness due to workplace related hazards and incidents.
SEIU President Sharleen Stewart will be speaking at Brampton Flower City Seniors Centre (Milestones of Labour Monument) located at 8870 McLaughlin Road. The event starts at 10:00 am. Map
SEIU Secretary Treasurer Manny Carvalho will be speaking at the Woodbridge Memorial Arena, located at 5020 Hwy 7 in Woodbridge. The event starts at 11:00 am. Map
SEIU Union Representative Sean Soper will be speaking at the Monument located at the Centennial Arena – 1557 Four Mile Creek Road in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The event starts at 9:00 am. Map
Dave Blake, an Executive Board member of SEIU, will be speaking at the Monument located at Niagara Falls City Hall on 4310 Queen Street. The event starts at 10:00 am. Map