The National Day of Mourning, first created by the Canadian Labour Congress in 1984 and now observed in 100 countries around the world, serves as a reminder that workplaces continue to be dangerous, even as steady advances are made in legislation to protect workers.
Thirteen people died in this province last year because of workplace-related injury or illness, including eight who died of industrial disease, according to figures from Workplace NL. Rates of both death and injuries in some areas continue to decline, but new risks continue to emerge.
Lost-time incidents caused by assaults and violent acts increased by 17 per cent over last year. On a national level, the CLC has called for regulations to deal with workplace violence and other known dangers.
People in workplaces ranging from longterm care homes to taxi companies report increased levels of assaults. It is difficult to determine what, if anything government is doing to improve conditions for these workers.
The results of workplace safety inspections are not automatically posted online for public access in the same way that, for example, restaurant reviews are.
St. John’s Centre MHA Gerry Rogers attended the ceremony organized by the St. John’s and District Labour Council today at Confederation Building; she presented a wreath on behalf of the caucus.