Workers Health & Safety Centre

A Day of Mourning 2021 message from Dave Killham, Exec Director

The future of work? Contemplating this question is exceedingly difficult when we are mired in the present, attempting to combat a crushing third wave of COVID-19 and its variants.
Just the same on the eve of Day of Mourning 2021, Workers Health & Safety Centre (WHSC), Executive Director, Dave Killham looks to a day when this dreaded virus has been conquered. In a WHSC video featuring Killham’s Day of Mourning message, he observes, “‘Build back better’ has been the repeated theme of those looking to create a more just society in the aftermath of COVID-19. I couldn’t agree more. But I would add, when it comes to worker health and safety, we already have a solid road map. We need only follow it.
Killham walks viewers through decades of worker demands, studies conducted, recommendations arrived at and finally promises made but left unfulfilled. He contends the pandemic has laid bare the systemic gaps long identified but never addressed.
The result? Among other issues, the precautionary principle has gone unheeded. Similarly, discussions around mandatory training standards have stalled completely.
Ultimately workers, particularly immigrant, migrant and workers of colour, have paid the highest price for years of inaction. Often cited worker compensation statistics capture only a small portion of their suffering, not the least of which is the considerable toll on worker mental health, documented by many research studies conducted throughout the current crisis.
“The time for study however is over,” says Killham. “We know what works. So today, let’s mourn for the dead. But every day forward, let’s fight for the living. Let’s insist on taking all reasonable precautions to protect workers. And, let’s insist on mandatory training standards and quality training in aid of this very achievable goal. As a health and safety movement we have learned persistence pays.”
Killham’s message will be included in a number of Day of Mourning virtual events scheduled throughout the province. Be sure to check out our latest schedule of these events and plan to participate in at least one (See below.). You can also view Killham’s full Day of Mourning message on our YouTube and Facebook platforms.
To learn more please download and share.
2021 Day of Mourning Ontario Events
2021 Day of Mourning Statistical Update
WHSC 2021 Day of Mourning Flyer
WHSC Training Catalogue and Schedule of Training
WHSC COVID-19 Information Resources