NUPGE is calling for legislation that requires health and safety training for youth before they enter the workforce.
Ottawa (26 April 2010) - Because young people are especially at risk from health and safety hazards in the workplace, the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) has chosen to put the spotlight on young workers in marking this year's National Day of Mourning.
Since 1988, April 28 has been observed in Canada as an official day of mourning for workers killed and injured on the job. The day was officially recognized by Parliament in 1991 and observances have now spread to more than 80 countries around the world.
More than 1,000 workers a year are killed on the job in Canada, and the number tends to increase each year, unlike other countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) where the number has generally been declining in recent years. For 2008, the latest year for which statistics are available, the death toll was 1,036.
In 2008, 51 young workers between the ages of 15-24 were killed in fatal accidents in Canadian workplaces. In addition, 44,836 workers in this same age group had injuries serious enough to qualify for compensation.
NUPGE is calling for legislation that requires health and safety training for youth - so they are aware of their rights - before they enter the workforce. Simply knowing their rights can empower young workers to put safety first.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE
• Download NUPGE's National Day of Mourning Poster - pdf