As the country marks the annual Day of Mourning for workers who lost their lives on the job, new data is highlighting a concerning spike in workplace deaths in B.C.
According to WorkSafeBC, 181 workers died in 2022 – up from 161 the year prior.
The number one killer was occupational diseases, which caused the loss of 107 workers, of which 61 of those deaths were due to extended asbestos exposure.
Traumatic injuries, such as falls and motor vehicles accidents, were among the greatest cause of deaths on the workplace.
To mark the National Day of Mourning on April 28, workers, employers, families and friends gather to commemorate those who loss their lives in the workplace. In B.C., events were held across a number of communities, including Vancouver.
“As we mourn their passing, let us also renew our efforts to create safer working environments, protect the most vulnerable workers, and prevent further tragedies from occurring,” Premier David Eby said in a statement.
Eby, alongside Labour Minister Harry Bains, attended an event at Jack Poole Plaza with other labour organization leaders.
“As we reflect on the tragedy of lives lost or forever changed by workplace injury and illness, I offer my deepest condolences to those who have lost a loved one,” Bains said.
“Today, we recommit to creating an enduring culture of safety in workplaces, strengthening standards and enforcement, and fully supporting all those impacted by these tragedies.”
Launched in 1984 in Canada, this national day of remembrance is now worldwide event adopted in more than 100 countries.
“Let us keep in mind that behind each statistic lies a real person whose life was tragically cut short or altered forever by a work-related incident, illness, or disease,” said WorkSafeBC CEO Anne Naser.
“We all have a responsibility to make British Columbia’s workplaces safer.”