In 1996, the global labor movement introduced an international Commemoration Day in honor of workers who lost their lives or suffered injuries on the job. This day serves to highlight, on an international level, the importance of promoting the prevention of workplace accidents and occupational diseases.
In 2010, the Quebec government passed the Act proclaiming the Commemorative Day of deceased or injured workers, that has become officially recognized.
Is the situation improving?
When analyzing the situation by considering the average unit rate, which is the basis for calculating the annual employer contribution rate, we can assume so.
The average unit rate decreased between 2014 and 2017 and in this period, it reached its lowest rate since the creation of the CSST in 1985, with a rate of $ 1.77 per $ 100 of insurable payroll. This decrease in the unit rate can be attributed to improved performance of preventative measures by organizations, as well as strong management of the plans’ operations and good investment returns in the previous years.
However, when we analyze a little further, we find that the mortality rate related to workplace accidents and occupational diseases has, for its part, greatly increased during the same period.
|Year||Average unit rate||Workplace Accidents||Occupational diseases||Total|
Even today, there are far too many workplace accidents resulting in death, that could have most likely been avoided by improved prevention methods. These methods start with identifying the risks present in the workplace and being able to eliminate and/or control them, followed by the employer providing proper information and training to workers regarding the risks present and workplace safety measures. Furthermore, this is not optional for employers; it is a legal obligation for all employers and in the case of a serious and/or fatal accident, could expose the organisation, it’s directors and managers to charges for criminal negligence.
Why a Commemoration Day on April 28th?
Not only for all the above reasons mentioned, but also to remember those who lost their lives while “making a living”. This Commemoration Day should be an opportunity for organizations to renew their commitment to OHS. We no longer speak about simply making OHS a priority in an organization, but rather OHS being part of the organization’s values, the corporate culture, in its DNA. It goes beyond compliance with regulatory requirements, it is about integrating OSH into all decisions, at all hierarchical levels and in all the practices of the organization.
OHS is everybody’s business and we must remember it on April 28, and every other day of the year.
Our consulting services can help you take advantage of the numerous benefits of a proper management of health, safety and well-being at work.
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