Day of Mourning for Workers: April 28, 2017


April 28 is the annual Day of Mourning. On that day, people across Canada and around the world honour and remember workers killed or injured in the workplace, or who have suffered work-related illnesses.

The Day of Mourning has special meaning for Office of the Worker Adviser staff because it pays tribute to the injured workers and survivors we serve. It also has an important connection to Ontario's workers' compensation system. The Day of Mourning takes place on April 28 because it was on that date in 1914 that Ontario's first workers' compensation law -- the first in Canada -- was passed.

The Day of Mourning was first observed in 1984. In 1990, the Parliament of Canada passed the Workers' Mourning Day Act, officially recognizing the Day of Mourning across the country. The Day of Mourning is now observed worldwide as International Workers' Memorial Day and has been recognized by the governments of many countries. On April 28, workers, labour unions and others across the globe hold ceremonies of remembrance.

The Day of Morning is also a time to renew our commitment to preventing further workplace deaths, injuries and disease. According to statistics from the WSIB, there were 173,703 work-related injuries and illnesses and 273 work-related deaths (including occupational disease) in Ontario in 2015.

A complete list of Day of Mourning events for 2017 is available from the Workers' Health and Safety Centre.