On Thursday afternoon, CUPE Local 70 and the City of Lethbridge held a National Day of Mourning ceremony for the first time in two years, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Burt Green, former CUPE Local 70 shop steward, hopes that the government creates tougher laws for occupational health and safety.
“I’ve had friends who have lost their children murdered on the job.”
More than 50 people attended and stood in a moment of silence to honour and remember the lives lost and changed due to work-related incidents.
Jacki Fuhrmann, an advocate for workplace safety, lost her father in a tragic work-related incident in 2014.
“It can happen, it does happen, and it happens hundreds of times a year,” said Fuhrmann. “Without bringing awareness, people seem to forget.”
According to the City of Lethbridge, 925 Albertans have lost their lives due to a workplace injury or illness since 2019.
178 people were lost due to workplace injury or illness in 2021.
According to the Ministry of Labour and Immigration, an updated and more accessible Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act took effect on Dec. 1, 2021. They are also looking into updating the OHS code to keep pace with best practices and standards.