Black Press File Photo

Black Press File Photo

Day of Mourning scheduled for tomorrow in Kelowna

Remember those who lost their lives in workplace accidents tomorrow

There were three workplace-related deaths in the Central Okanagan last year.

On Saturday, April 28, their lives will be honoured during the annual Day of Mourning, which is scheduled for 12 p.m. at Ben Lee Park.

Ceremonies will be taking place across Canada, to remember those who died in workplace-related accidents and to commit to creating safe work environments since its national inception in 1991. The BC Mourning: Day of Schools Project was also started three years ago to get students focused on the initiative.

“We’ve got 40 ceremonies being held across the province either today or tomorrow… and that draws in a lot of people to remind them and let them know the information about workers safety,” said Trish Knight Chernecki, senior manager government media relations with WorkSafeBC.

The number of traumatic workplace deaths has been declining in B.C., but deaths related to occupational disease has been increasing because it takes 20 to 30 years to see the results of those exposed to asbestos.

“Between 1996 and 2017, the death rate per 10,000 workers, from occupational disease increased by approximately 33 per cent,” said Knight Chernecki. “Whereas the rate of death from traumatic injuries decreased by 56 per cent.”

The decrease in traumatic injury-related deaths is attributed to a number of factors including public awareness and new regulations, she said.

In B.C. last year, 158 workers died from a workplace accident or disease.

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