News release

Nova Scotians Honour Workers, Families

On the National Day of Mourning, today, April 28, Nova Scotians come together to remember those who have died or were injured because of a workplace accident or work-related illness.

“Please join us in taking a moment to reflect and remember those we have lost,” said Jill Balser, Minister of Labour, Skills and Immigration. “We can honour these individuals by continuing to work towards safer and healthier workplaces and collectively renewing our commitment to workplace health and safety. All Nova Scotians deserve to come home safe from work.”

Minister Balser will join Stuart MacLean, CEO of the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) Nova Scotia, Danny Cavanagh, President of the Federation of Labour, and other federation representatives at a ceremony at Province House in Halifax later this morning.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Westray mining disaster in Plymouth, Pictou County. On the morning of May 9, 1992, 26 families lost sons, fathers, brothers, and uncles in an explosion at the coal mine. One of the victims was Allen Martin's brother, Glenn. Their story is available here: .


All of us at WCB Nova Scotia join with you in paying tribute to the lives lost, and the lives impacted forever, by workplace injury in our province. Each and every person we honour in words, thoughts, and actions, is someone who should be here today, but is not, because something went wrong at a workplace. Today we pay tribute, and we renew our commitment to work toward a safer tomorrow. Stuart MacLean, CEO, WCB Nova Scotia

April 28 is a day to pause, reflect and renew our commitment to health and safety and prevention right across Nova Scotia. Today, we reaffirm our commitment to make sure all workers come home safely at the end of their day. Danny Cavanagh, President, Nova Scotia Federation of Labour

Quick Facts:

  • the annual Day of Mourning event is led by the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour and is supported by the Department of Labour, Skills and Immigration, WCB Nova Scotia, and Threads of Life
  • Threads of Life is a Canadian registered charity dedicated to supporting families after a workplace fatality, life-altering injury or occupational disease
  • in 2021, 20 Nova Scotians died while at work or because of work done in the past
  • those deaths include five from acute traumatic injuries on the job; the acute deaths occurred in the fishing and construction sectors
  • there were 15 fatalities classified as chronic – seven related to occupational diseases stemming from past exposures and eight caused by health-related issues, such as heart attacks, which occurred at the workplace but may or may not have been related to work

Additional Resources:

Information about the investigation process for workplace accidents and is available at:

WCB Nova Scotia website:

Nova Scotia Federation of Labour website:

Threads of Life website: