Day of Mourning: What It Means to Your Small Business

Every year on April 28, we come together at ceremonies held across Canada to remember those who have lost their lives to injury or disease on the job.

Last year, 122 workers in British Columbia died on the job. It’s a loss that affects us all, but a workplace death can be especially devastating to a small business. The Day of Mourning is a time to remember fallen workers, but it’s also a good time to have an annual review of your health and safety programs and procedures to ensure your workers are staying safe on the job.

Making Health and Safety a Priority

No matter how big or small your business is, making health and safety a key part of the culture at work is an important step in keeping your workplace and your employees safe. Working cooperatively to develop an environment where health and safety is key, and where everyone is encouraged to participate in safety programs and procedures, can help to make fatalities and workplace incidents a thing of the past.

But how can this be done within a small business where time and resources are already stretched to the limit? You don’t have to do it alone. WorkSafeBC has partnered with Small Business BC to create greater access to tools and resources to help small businesses develop and maintain successful health and safety programs.

With proper planning and an emphasis on safety in your workplace, incidents can be minimized or avoided altogether. The best way to keep your small business safe is to create a health and safety program. An effective program should include:

  • Safety education and training for new and young workers
  • A plan to hold regular safety meetings and safety inspections
  • Descriptions of employer, supervisor, and worker responsibilities
  • A schedule for regular maintenance and updating of the safety program

The Small Business Primer and the Small Business Health and Safety Log Book are two great resources that provide employers with information on registering with WorkSafeBC and how to set up a basic health and safety program.

Making a Safer Workplace is Smart Business

Helping your employees do their jobs safely adds value to your business, and providing support and training is a great place to start. Ensuring the tools your workers use are safe and appropriate for the task, and keeping the dialogue of your safety culture going with regular safety meetings and checks will help you avoid the financial and human cost of a high injury rate.

It doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming. With a variety of valuable resources available on, including videos, meeting guides and training materials, safety planning is easy, and can help save lives. And if you can prevent incidents from occurring, you can keep your operation running, improve your overall bottom line and — most importantly — keep your employees safe and healthy.

Attend a Day of Mourning ceremony

There are many Day of Mourning Ceremonies held in local communities around BC. For a full listing of all the ceremonies or for more information, visit

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Are you taking advantage of Small Business BC’s wide selection of seminars for entrepreneurs and small to medium-sized business owners? Space is limited, so don’t miss your chance to register today.

And if you want specific questions answered for your business, make an appointment to meet with a Small Business BC Business Advisor or Small Business BC Business Plan Advisor now.