This week, groups will be gathering across Canada for a somber purpose, coming together in a National Day of Mourning, remembering those who have lost their lives in the workplace.
This year, the Penticton event takes place at the memorial tree, in front of McLaren Arena at 11 a.m. on Friday. Acting Mayor Judy Sentes will read the city’s proclamation and any members of the public wishing to come forward will have an opportunity to speak, followed by a moment of silence.
Terry Green, treasurer for the South Okanagan Labour Council, will be one of the people speaking on Friday. He points out that just this year, 142 people in B.C. have either been killed, injured or fallen ill due to work.
“I would think in this day and age, with the knowledge base that we have, the technology that we have, that we shouldn’t still be having this many situations arise in the workplace,” said Green. “I think it is really important that we remember those who have sacrificed their life for the work that they do.”
Equally important with remembering, Green said, is continuing to strive to improve safety training and to encourage workers to take care when they are in dangerous situations in the workplace. Along side of that is ensuring that employers follow work safety regulations and are promoting, assisting and ensuring that work safety is a top priority in the workplace.
The official Day of Mourning is April 28, the day chosen when the Canadian Labour Congress first declared an annual day of remembrance before it was declared an official Canadian observance in 1991. Since its inception, the observance has spread to 80 countries around the world as a time when workers, families, employers and others come together to remember those who have lost their lives to work-related incidents or occupational diseases.