Brock experts weigh in on workplace health and safety ahead of National Day of Mourning

National Day of Mourning is observed on April 28 in tribute to those who have been killed, injured or suffered illness as a result of work-related incidents.

On Saturday, April 28, flags will fly at half-mast across the country in remembrance of the many tragedies stemming from workplace accidents. Two experts from Brock University are weighing in on the issue.

Deborah McPhee, Associate Professor of Human Resources Management and Occupational Health and Safety at Brock’s Goodman School of Business, is an expert on workplace health and safety issues. Simon Black, Assistant Professor in the Department of Labour Studies, is an expert in labour relations.

In an article published Tuesday on The Conversation Canada, McPhee explains that while Canada has some of the most stringent workplace laws, there is more work to be done to address workplace safety and minimize the number of workplace incidents affecting Canadians.

“Workers and their families suffer the consequences when workplace safety is not taken seriously by everyone in the workplace,” said McPhee, adding that it’s important for employees to know their rights when it comes to workplace injuries.

Black’s research focuses on labour relations, and he says this year unions in Canada are calling on the federal government to do more to address workplace violence and harassment. He pointed to the recently introduced Bill C-65, which would treat harassment and violence in the workplace the same way other occupational health and safety hazards are treated.

“Bill C-65 will have certain implications for how governments regulate health and safety,” Black said. “It’s really through the struggles of women both within the labour movement and movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp that attention is being to the issue of harassment and violence as workplace health and safety issues.”

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