Every April 28th we pause to honour the memory of workers who have lost their lives on the job, to think of the many thousands injured or made ill by workplace conditions, and to consider the impact on their families and our communities.
The National Day of Mourning, or Day of Remembrance, is observed in over 100 nations by advocates, unions, progressive employers and regulators.
This year, the Canadian Labour Congress has chosen as its theme the demand that Canada join the dozens of other countries that have instituted a National Ban on Asbestos, the leading cause of work-related death in Canada and around the world.
The Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers Inc. (OHCOW) has always been a vocal proponent of a worldwide ban on asbestos use. As a leader in prevention, diagnosis, research and education around occupational diseases, we have seen the terrible impact of asbestos exposure firsthand.
This is an urgent issue. The federal government has only recently, finally acknowledged that all forms of asbestos, regardless of the quantity or duration of exposure, are deadly. What happens now is critical to the fight against the global asbestos disease epidemic. A total ban on the use of asbestos in Canada is the next logical step. OHCOW supports such a ban, along with implementation of a comprehensive strategy to eliminate existing sources of exposure.
OHCOW’s Board of Directors, staff and stakeholders will participate and speak at observances in communities across Ontario.
We encourage everyone to pause on April 28th to remember all workers who were killed, injured or made ill by workplace conditions. April 28th offers us the opportunity to stand together with the world’s workers, to reaffirm our commitment to occupational health, safety and compensation issues. “Mourn for the dead, and fight like hell for the living.”