Workplace safety highlighted in advance of National Day of Mourning

Dan Pozzobon’s first experience with a serious workplace injury took place a week into his first formal job in health and safety.

Brock University’s Occupational Health and Safety Specialist had been working at a manufacturing plant when a senior employee suffered a serious hand injury.

Although the incident took place 20 years ago, it left a lasting impression on Pozzobon.

“It made a huge impact on the psyche of the plant,” he said. “It really brought my attention to the forefront of how important workplace safety is.”

The significant impact of that injury to the workplace community is one example of the hundreds of thousands of workplace injuries, illnesses or deaths that take place in Canada each year. According to statistics from the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada, 925 workplace fatalities were recorded in Canada in 2019 along with another 271,806 accepted claims for lost time due to a work-related injury or disease.

In honour and memory of the lives lost and people injured due to workplace incidents, the Brock University community will join Canadians in observing the National Day of Mourning on Wednesday, April 28.

The University is lowering flags to half-mast and encourages observing a moment of silence at 11 a.m., as well as sharing messages of support on social media with the hashtags #DayOfMourning and #BrockU.

“We all likely know someone who has had a serious workplace incident, whether it’s a family member, neighbour or friend,” Pozzobon said.

In addition to remembering these people and reflecting on the seriousness and importance of safety in the workplace, Pozzobon recommends Brock employees commit to making safety a priority in their day-to-day work.

“It’s easy to become complacent, especially in roles that might not seem to pose much safety risk, but we all have a role to play in the safety of our community,” he said.

He encourages employees to take a few minutes each morning to assess their working environment, identify how safety impacts their job and take steps to make it safer.

With most Brock employees working from home, Pozzobon recommends looking out for tripping hazards, such as cords, boxes or pet’s and children’s toys. He says an ergonomically designed home office environment is also important and suggests using the ergonomic resources available to Brock employees.

For essential employees continuing to work on campus, Pozzobon suggests they look out for potential hazards and safety concerns and report them to their supervisor, or address them if they have the authority to do so. An injury-incident report should be completed with a supervisor and emailed to

For more information on the National Day of Mourning, visit the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board or the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety.


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