Sunday, April 11, 2010

Workers' Memorial Day (April 28) is an international day of remembrance set aside each year for workers killed and injured on the job. Each year Molly has blogged extensively about this day and its implications, and 2010 will be no different. WMD is actually a Canadian contribution to world culture as it was first observed by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and only later became an international phenomenum. Each year over 2 million people are killed in workplace accidents or by work related disease. This holocaust is far greater than any of the wars of nation versus nation, though I guess that the war of the bosses versus the people could be termed the greatest war of all. Here, from the BC Nurses Union is how nurses in BC intend to mark this upcoming day.
BCNU marks April 28th Day of Mourning for nurses and other workers killed or injured on the job
Wear a sticker and attend an event in your community

Every year on April 28th, we honour the memory of Canadian workers who have lost their lives or careers due to work-related injuries or occupational diseases. The Day of Mourning is an opportunity to remember fallen workers and to recommit to creating safer workplaces.

Facts on 2009 work-related injuries and deaths

•121 BC workers lost their lives due to workplace injury and disease, an average of almost three workers each week
•More than 3,000 work-related injuries are reported each week
•19 workers are permanently disabled every work day
Nursing workplace injuries and deaths

•Approximately 1,225 nurses are injured every year
•55 percent are caused by overexertion or repetitive movement
•13 percent are caused by violent or aggressive behavior
•12 percent are caused by slips and trips
•2 percent of the time a motor vehicle is the cause of the injury
•Recently an emergency RN contracted Hepatitis C after being stuck by an improperly discarded dirty needle
•In 2007 two RN's died from work related illnesses
Workplace injuries are often serious and life altering. Many nurses develop cancer or other hormonal irregularities related to years of shift work. Some don't realize their conditions are work related and die prematurely without claiming WorkSafe BC benefits.

What you can do

•Wear a sticker marking the Day of Mourning. Stickers and posters have been mailed to your stewards. Ask for some. Visit and make a dedication to a fallen worker.
•Attend a Day of Mourning event in your community
•Recognize unsafe working conditions and report them to your manager.

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