Every year on June 1st, Ontarians pay respect to the hundreds of workers who have died or become injured while working on their job sites. The Ontario Injured Workers Day is an opportunity to recognize the individuals who have suffered injuries and fatalities as a result of their workplace conditions.
Statistics show that over 300 employees die each year in Ontario because of accidents that occur while they are at work. Several of these deaths are workers employed in the agricultural sector, where regulations for the industry are limited. Under the current legislation, the Agricultural Employees Protection Act, it is often the case that many farm workers do not receive the proper training or safety equipment resulting in severe injuries and fatalities.
The stark reality is that many of these accidents and deaths could be prevented. UFCW Canada, alongside other unions and community allies, is urging the provincial government to institute greater legislation aimed at improving the safety of all workplaces.
Sadly, the Ontario government continues to cutback benefits for injured workers. Workers’ compensation and social welfare programs have become increasingly under attack across Canada. These cutbacks will continue to deteriorate the health benefits for employees who are injured on the work site.
Every day and on June 1st especially, activists across Ontario must stand together to acknowledge and support the workers who have lost their lives or been seriously injured as a result of hazardous workplaces. Ontario Injured Workers Day is an opportunity to collectively demand the provincial government to accept workers’ safety as a chief priority and to pass legislation that ensures the well-being of every worker in the province. Together, we can save lives and prevent workplace injuries.