Governments must act on workplace health and safety: Hughes

Ottawa – No one deserves to die at work or from work related illnesses and conditions, but that is what happens to an average of four people in this country every single day, according to Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing, MP Carol Hughes. 


Hughes paid tribute to fallen workers and the loved ones left behind in a statement delivered in the House of Commons, Tuesday.


“Workers die from traumatic injury sustained on the job, occupational diseases, and even violence in the workplace,” said Hughes. “That doesn’t even include individuals who die from work-related conditions and diseases that go unreported.”


Hughes said that we have not kept pace with other OECD countries whose numbers for workplace related deaths have dropped over the last 15 years. In Canada the numbers have grown despite laws that spell out criminal responsibility for some cases of occupational death.


“They are so rarely applied that there is no incentive for employers to address dangerous working conditions’” said Hughes. 


Hughes says that it is a matter of making workplace health and safety a priority.


“We are trading the safety of our workplaces for profits, but for families who have lost loved ones to unsafe working conditions, there is no amount that can provide comfort,” said Hughes.  “While so many needlessly lose their lives year after year, we have to ask ourselves:  How many men, women, and teenagers have to die before governments finally take action?”


Three ceremonies were held to mark the Workers Day of Mourning in Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing, in Aundeck Omni Kaning First Nation, Elliot Lake and Kapuskasing.