Safety at work can save lives

April 28 is the Day of Mourning and World Day for Safety and Health at Work.

April 28 is the Day of Mourning, a day to reflect on those we have lost and renew our commitment to creating healthy and safe workplaces for everyone. Industry Training Authority (ITA) will join the BC Federation of Labour for a moment of silence to remember the 140 B.C. workers who died last year from a workplace injury or disease. Visit the Day of Mourning website to leave a note in honour of a fallen worker.

April 28 is also World Day for Safety and Health at Work, a day to promote the creation of a safety and health workplace culture that helps reduce the number of work-related injuries and deaths.

In British Columbia, WorkSafe BC stats show there were 155,753 work-related injuries in 2018. There were disability claims for 55,125 injuries, and 37 per cent of those were in occupations related to the trades, transport, and equipment operation.

Recognizing the challenge that governments, employers, workers, and societies are facing worldwide to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2020 is focusing on COVID-19—Stop the pandemic: Safety and health at work can save lives.

A number of organizations in B.C. have developed resources to help employers in the trades adopt safe workplace practices to reduce and prevent transmission of the virus. WorkSafe BC has general and industry-specific COVID-19 information and resources, including a guide for employers on how to prevent exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace. The BC Construction Safety Alliance also developed specific prevention measures for the construction industry.

In trades training, post-secondary institutions have moved to virtual classrooms and other online education options to ensure the health and safety of instructors, staff, and students while keeping apprentices on their learning path. And at ITA, staff are working from home, including our Customer Support teams who are responding to calls and emails from apprentices and employer sponsors.

Each of us is responsible for preventing injuries on the job. Governments must develop occupational health and safety legislation and policy. Employers must ensure that working environments are safe and healthy. Workers must work safely, protect themselves, and not endanger others. Let’s all do our part to stay safe and healthy.

For more information on workplace safety, visit the following sites: 

WorkSafe BC

BC Construction Safety Alliance

Council of Construction Associations

Do you know an apprentice or employer champion?

The Champions of Apprenticeship are recognized for their outstanding achievements in BC apprenticeship system. These Champions are celebrated for their hard work in creating certified tradesworkers, supporting their industry and promoting apprenticeship. Do you know an outstanding employer sponsor or apprentice? Send us an email and nominate them to become a Champion of Apprenticeship!

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