‘Safety is number one’: National Day of Mourning ceremony held in Lethbridge

Click to play video: 'Flags lowered as Lethbridge remembers workers on National Day of Mourning' Flags lowered as Lethbridge remembers workers on National Day of Mourning
A ceremony was held at the CUPE memorial in Lethbridge Thursday, remembering and honouring victims of work-related incidents. Jaclyn Kucey spoke with attendees on National Day of Mourning, who say more awareness is needed when it comes to workplace safety – Apr 28, 2022

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.

“Safety is number one,” said Green. “People don’t need to be injured or in a wheelchair or in crutches when they come to these [ceremonies].
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“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.”

Names of the 178 people lost due to workplace illness or injury in 2019. Workers' Compensation Board-Alberta

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.

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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.

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