In recognition of the National Day of Mourning
Letter to the Editor
On this solemn day, we join people across British Columbia and Canada in remembering and honouring people who have lost their lives or suffered injury or illness on the job. We offer our deepest condolences to their families, friends and co-workers as we mourn alongside them. We know the shock and devastation of losing a loved one or a colleague at work lasts a lifetime.
In 2022, 181 people died from work-related illnesses or injuries in B.C. That includes 61 workers who died of asbestos-related diseases, 26 who died in motor-vehicle accidents and 48 who died from a traumatic injury.
Our government is committed to eliminating workplace tragedies. That’s why we have taken steps to better protect the health and safety of workers.
We have brought in new rules to protect youth from work that is too hazardous for them, such as forestry, food processing and certain construction jobs. This ensures young people can gain valuable and rewarding work experience without compromising their safety.
Additionally, we have changed the law to make it easier for workers to organize at work and have more say in workplace safety. We are also bringing in new licensing and certification requirements for asbestos abatement contractors and workers to ensure they have the knowledge and skills to safely do their jobs.
When a workplace incident occurs, the victims and their families deserve our support. That’s why we have made continuous improvements to the workers’ compensation system since 2018 to ensure injured workers and their dependants receive timely care and fair compensation.
A few months ago, we made changes to the Workers Compensation Act to give people injured at work better supports. The changes include ensuring employers accommodate injured workers when they are ready to return to work, improving the annual cost-of-living increases to compensation benefits and other measures to ensure people are looked after and supported in recovering.
We know there is more work to do to better protect people, and we are committed to doing that work. Today, as we pay tribute to workers who didn’t make it home safely at the end of the day, we recommit to ensuring everyone has the safe and healthy workplaces they deserve.
Premier David Eby and
Harry Bains, Minister of Labour