People around the province came together today, April 28, at ceremonies to mourn the 23 people who died at workplaces last year marking this year’s National Day of Mourning. Premier Darrell Dexter and Labour and Advanced Education Minister Marilyn More joined the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour and other individuals and organizations at Province House in Halifax to mark the event. Similar ceremonies were held across the province. “I extend my sincerest condolences and deepest sympathies to those who have lost a loved one at the workplace,” said Premier Dexter. “Today, and every day, we must remember those that have died or been injured and renew our commitment to keep ourselves and each other safe on the job. All workplace injuries and fatalities are preventable and guarding against them is the responsibility of each and every Nova Scotian.” “When someone is lost, nothing can replace the void that is left behind. Our thoughts go out to anyone that has been impacted by these tragedies,” said Ms. More. “We will continue to work with our partners to build and strengthen Nova Scotia’s culture of safety using every tool possible, including regulation and education, to help improve workplace safety and prevent incidents before they occur.” Last year, the total number of claims for on-the-job injuries was 6,921, a decrease of four per cent from 2009, according to the Workers’ Compensation Board. “Although it appears there may have been a reduction in injuries, we believe the statistics do not tell the full story,” said Federation of Labour president Rick Clarke. “For example, workers who are not covered by compensation and who sustain a workplace injury do not appear in the statistics. In addition, the untold numbers of workers who may have died away from work due to unrecognized or undiagnosed occupational injuries or work-related diseases are never factored in. “If we are to turn the numbers around we need to build a solid culture of safety in the province, from the boardroom to the workplace. To achieve this goal we must utilize all tools at our disposal including regulations, education, and stronger enforcement of occupational health and safety laws. We need a serious commitment to prevention, now. “Our thoughts, condolences and commitment go out to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives at or due to work.” The Day of Mourning was established in 1984 by the Canadian Labour Congress. The ceremony is recognized across Canada and in more than 80 other countries. For more information on occupational health and safety in Nova Scotia, see the department’s website at www.gov.ns.ca/lwd/healthandsafety. For more information on Day of Mourning, visit www.dayofmourning.ns.ca .