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Let's talk about work place safety

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Take a minute to think about this: You walk into your work place first thing in the morning and there is a trash can near the door to your office. You think nothing of it and kick it out of the way. But what if you hadn't noticed it, you trip over it, slam your head against the office door, crumple to the floor in a heap and pass out. You're the first one in the office that day. No one finds you for fifteen minutes. Next thing you know you're in an ambulance on your way to the nearest emergency room.

This time, you survive. Maybe a few bumps on your noggin but no permanent damage.

Could have been worse. That trash can in your way could have tripped you up even worse. You could have been running to your office, stumbled, crashed into a wall, and never recovered.

It could happen. It has happened. It's all about work place safety.

That's why, in Canada and elsewhere around the world, April 28th is a National Day of Mourning.

It commemorates workers who have been killed, injured or suffered illness due to workplace related hazards and incidents.

According to our various sources, Workers' Memorial Day was started by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) in 1984, and the Canadian Labour Congress officially declared it an annual day of remembrance in 1985 on April 28.

In December 1990, this day became a national observance with the passing of the Workers Mourning Day Act, so that on April 28, 1991, it was officially the National Day of Mourning for persons killed or injured in the workplace; making April 28, an official Workers’ Mourning Day.

Since its inception, the observance has spread to over 80 countries around the world, but is known in most other countries as the Workers' Memorial Day. The date 28 April was picked because on that day in 1914, the Workers Compensation Act received its third reading.In 2001 the International Labour Organization first observed World Day for Safety and Health at Work on this day.Typically the Canadian flag on Parliament Hill is flown at half-mast, and workers and employees observe this day in various ways including lighting candles, donning ribbons and black armbands, and observing moments of silence.

We are told that the purpose of this Day of Mourning is twofold- to remember and honour those lives lost or injured and to renew the commitment to improving health and safety in the workplace - to prevent further deaths, injuries and diseases from work.

And put those trash cans and other safety hazards securely out of harm's way. For all of us.

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