Nova Scotians will gather at Day of Mourning ceremonies across the province today, April 28, to pay tribute to those who have died or were injured on the job.
"Day of Mourning is a day to remember those who lost their lives as the result of a work place accident, and also to reflect on those who were injured or suffered illness due to the workplace," said Estella Hickey, Threads of Life member and mother of Kyle Hickey who was killed in a workplace accident at the age of 22. "For me, it is another day to remember our son Kyle, taken away so young. I believe everyone that goes to work should come home at the end of the day to their loved ones."
Labour and Advanced Education Minister Kelly Regan and Workers' Compensation Board of Nova Scotia vice-president of prevention and service delivery Shelley Rowan will join Ms. Hickey at a ceremony today at Province House.
Ceremonies to mark the day are also being held in Kentville, Trenton, Port Hawkesbury and Sydney
"These families and loved ones live with their tragic loss every day," said Ms. Regan. "Their loss serves as a reminder to all of us that our work is not done. We have to do more to eliminate workplace illnesses, injuries and fatalities."
In 2014, 19 Nova Scotian workers lost their lives at work or because of work-related injuries. In 2015, there have been seven workplace fatalities.
"We have the unwavering belief that one fatality is too many, and it is at the heart of everything we do at the WCB," said Stuart MacLean, CEO of the Workers' Compensation Board of Nova Scotia. "The human impacts of workplace injury serve as stark reminders of the importance of our work. We pause to remember the workplace tragedies of the past, and to pledge our commitment to making changes that will ensure every Nova Scotian comes home from work safely."
Workers, employers, government, industry, labour and family members have spearheaded efforts over the past year to increase awareness of the importance of workplace safety, including work on a small business safety toolkit, a fishing safety action plan and a number of community outreach activities.
"Our thoughts today are with the families, friends, and co-workers of the 19 workers in Nova Scotia who did not come home in 2014," said Rick Clarke, president of the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour. "These statistics are a compelling reminder that more needs to be done to protect workers. Working together we can make a difference, but we must, each of us, make a commitment to that goal.
"Awareness, education, training and enforcement are all crucial to bring about the changes that are needed."
For more information on the Day of Mourning, visit dayofmourning.ns.ca
FOR BROADCAST USE:
Nova Scotians are taking time to remember those who died or
were injured on the job during National Day of Mourning
ceremonies today (April 28th) across the province.
Kelly Regan, Minister of Labour and Advanced Education,
extends her sympathy to the families and loved ones of workers
lost on the job, and reaffirms her commitment to improving the
safety of workplaces across the province.
The National Day of Mourning pays tribute to workers who
have been killed, injured or suffered illness due to
workplace related hazards and incidents. Ceremonies were held in
Halifax, Kentville, Trenton, Port Hawkesbury and Sydney.
Media Contacts: Sarah Levy MacLeod
Nova Scotia Federation of Labour
Workers' Compensation Board
Following is a list of National Day of Mourning ceremonies:
-- Halifax, 11 a.m., Province House, 1726 Hollis St.
-- Sydney, 11 a.m., Membertou Trade and Convention Centre, 50 Maillard St.
-- Trenton, 6 p.m., Trenton Park
-- Kentville, 7 p.m., Memorial Park, Park St.
-- Port Hawkesbury, 7 p.m., Unifor (formerly CEP Union Hall), 323 Reeves St.