Premier John Horgan and Harry Bains, Minister of Labour, have issued the following statement:
“Today on the National Day of Mourning, we join with people and families throughout B.C. and across Canada to remember the lives lost or forever changed by workplace injury and illness.
“One hundred and fifty-one workers in B.C. lost their lives because of a work-related injury or illness in the past year. We stand together and offer our deepest condolences to the families, friends and coworkers who lost someone close to them.
“COVID-19 has pushed everyone in B.C. to improve occupational health and safety practices and reduce risks, but there are hazards in the workplace beyond the virus. This spring, we lost several workers in the span of a few short weeks because of traumatic injuries at their work. It was a sad reminder that we must always remain vigilant about health and safety in the workplace – every day, without exception.
“By law, every worker has the right to refuse unsafe work, and employers are responsible for providing a safe workplace for their workers and taking the necessary precautions to protect them from hazards. In addition, WorkSafeBC remains focused on making sure COVID-19 safety plans are in place for every workplace, keeping people safe and businesses open during the pandemic.
“We want all workers to return home healthy and safe at the end of the day. Anything less is unacceptable. It’s vital that we remember the important lessons we have learned over the past year. This will help strengthen the safety of B.C.’s workplaces today and for years to come.
“Thank you to everyone who has kept B.C.’s services and businesses open and safe, and our economy running. We pledge to continue to do our part to keep workers safe every day.”