NUPGE poster marks Day of Mourning for Canadian workers

National ceremonies each April 28 honour the approximately 1,000 workers killed and injured on the job each year

Ottawa (11 April 2007) - Approximately 1,000 Canadian workers die from workplace accidents every year while close to a million others are injured.

The grim toll is recognized by a National Day of Mourning established by Parliament in 1991. It is observed every April 28 in scores of ceremonies across the country. The Canadian Flag atop the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill always flies at half mast.

This year the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is releasing a poster and urging members across the country, and concerned Canadians, to post it in workplaces and other areas to raise awareness of the tremendous cost paid by workers in simply performing their daily duties.

"Work kills," the poster says. "Death on the job continues its relentless rise in Canada. There are now nearly five work-related deaths per workday in Canada."

National Day of Mourning ceremonies are held at a monument erected by the Canadian Labour Congress in Vincent Massey Park. While commemorating all workplace victims, it especially honours nine workers killed on Aug. 10, 1966, during construction of the nearby Heron Road Bridge over the Rideau River.

Beyond the human cost, the financial toll taken by workplace death, injury and illness is massive. The government estimates that more than 16 million days of work are lost each year. The cost to the Canadian economy has been estimated at $10 billion. NUPGE

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