Tuesday, April 28th is the International Day of Mourning – a day for people around the world to remember and honour those who have died or been seriously injured at work.
This year, Nova Scotia is in mourning for a different reason. Our hearts are with all of the families and communities dealing with such incredible loss, after the recent tragic events in our province.
The Day of Mourning is perhaps even more poignant, as we are reminded that two of the victims of these horrible crimes died doing their jobs. Constable Heidi Stevenson died while protecting those she served. Continuing Care Assistant Kristen Beaton was on her way to care for a home care client.
This year, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we also honour, with gratitude, those health care workers, first responders and many other workers, who are putting their lives at risk every day. We send our sincere gratitude to all of those who are working to keep our province safe, and, to maintain the goods and services that Nova Scotians need during this time.
The Day of Mourning offers employees and employers the opportunity to publicly renew their commitment to improve health and safety. Typically, there are ceremonies around the province and in workplaces. However, this year, the way we honour the Day of Mourning looks different, due to the pandemic.
While we may not be able to gather in person, the sentiment of honouring those lost is as strong as ever. There are a number of ways you can observe the Day of Mourning remotely:
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The picture of workplace tragedy from 2019
- In 2019, 22 Nova Scotians died at work or because of their job. And while this number represents a significant decrease compared the 40 Nova Scotians who lost their lives at or because of work in 2018, each of these deaths, no matter the circumstances, is a deep and human tragedy.
- In 2019, five Nova Scotians died from acute traumatic injuries on the job. There were also 17 fatalities classified as chronic – 12 related to occupational diseases and five caused by health related issues, such as heart attacks.