FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – April 28th is recognized in British Columbia as the Day of Mourning, an opportunity to remember workers who lost their lives due to workplace injury or disease.

In 2020, 151 workers lost their lives in British Columbia workplace injuries or illnesses. More than half of those work-related deaths were due to occupational disease.

As a result of asbestos exposure, 37 British Columbians died in 2020, which is the leading cause of all workplace-related deaths.

In Fort St. John, Bruce Olofson died while on duty as a tow truck operator on March 4th.

“Today, we remember the people who died because of their workplace injuries, accidents and illnesses,” says Minister of Labour, Harry Bains.

“We think of the families, friends, and coworkers they have left behind. Every day we are taking action to improve workplace safety so that every worker returns home in the same condition they left.”

The Canadian Labour Congress held the first National Day of Mourning ceremony in 1985.

Canada was the first country to formally commemorate workers killed in the workplace in 1991. In 1992, British Columbia proclaimed April 28 as the Day of Mourning.