The Day of Mourning to recognize workers killed, injured, or experiencing an occupational illness due to work, will soon be upon us. As the labour movement prepares to recognize the Day of Morning on April 28, the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) aims to bring focus and attention to ensuring employers and government officials provide safe workplaces to workers under the following theme – Know your Rights; Use the Tools; Defend our Wins.
In Ontario, employers are responsible to ensure a safe workplace, and that means investing in proven prevention tools. Unfortunately, some employers have not taken this responsibility seriously enough, putting workers in harm’s way. Governments must enforce health and safety requirements and hold employers accountable when they fail to protect workers. Workers and unions will keep fighting for better enforcement of existing occupational health and safety legislation. We must also continue to push employers to invest in proven prevention tools, like empowered, well-trained health and safety committees.
Employers should work with health and safety committees to develop or improve policies and programs in cooperation with workplace health and safety committees, offer robust ongoing training, identify workplace hazards, develop an action plan for addressing them, and ensure worker participation in developing and monitoring the systems that will make workplaces safer.
As a reminder, in June 2016, legislation was enacted such that all schools, school boards, universities and others are required to lower the flags to half-mast, as per the Workers Day of Mourning Act. Ensure that your employer is aware of this legislation and will be lowering the flags to half-mast. Please visit the Workers’ Health and Safety Centre (WHSC) site for more information about Day of Mourning activities in your community at Workers Health & Safety Centre.
For more information, please contact Norm.Westbury@osstf.ca.