The Halifax-Dartmouth and District Labour Council is calling on the Province of Nova Scotia to conduct a public inquiry into workplace deaths and health and safety issues on the job in the 21st century.
May 9, 2012 marks the 20th anniversary of the Westray mining disaster, where 26 miners were killed in an underground methane explosion. Despite the lessons of Westray, workers continue to be killed and injured on the job at alarming rates. In 2011, 27 Nova Scotians were killed on the job and another 6,616 had injuries resulting in time lost from work.
Kelly Murphy, Executive Vice-President of the Labour Council says, “27 deaths and 6,616 reported injuries in 2012. This is unacceptable. It is time for the Government to step up and take Occupational Health and Safety seriously.”
The Halifax-Dartmouth and District Labour Council is optimistic that the Provincial Government will realize worker’s safety is important. If there is no action on health and safety in the next year, the Labour Council will not co-sponsor a Day of Mourning Ceremony with the Provincial Government or Workers Compensation Board in 2013, but will instead mark the day with a separate event.
Labour Council President Kyle Buott says, “It is time for all political parties to get serious about workplace health and safety. Workers want to come home to their families after work, not die at work. Its time for action.”