Workers Memorial Day

Last week thousands gathered at events around Australia to mark Workers Memorial Day and push for a better safety record.

Memorial for Workers KilledOrganizers of the event pointed out that about 7,000 Australians die each year from work-related causes and that in Western Australia alone 21 people had died at work since January 2009. In fact there was some criticism of the WA government because it had refused to sign up to nationally agreed safety laws and that was seen as leaving workers with “the weakest safety laws in Australia”.

Meanwhile, thousands of construction workers have marched in Melbourne’s CBD to protest against the rising rate of deaths and serious injuries at work. According to union figures, deaths in the construction industry increased from 3.14 deaths per 100,000 workers in 2004, to 3.86 in 2005, 5.6 in 2006, 4.48 in 2007 and 4.27 in 2008, he said. Workers placed black helmets on white crosses symbolising the eight construction workers who had died since the last memorial day.

In NSW, hundreds of family and friends placed flowers on the Memory Lines sculpture at Reflection Park in Sydney’s Darling Harbour to honour those who had died as a result of a workplace accident or illness.

About the Author

Joanne Wallace is our resident "Safety Guru". Joanne has provided advice on safety management for the past 10 years and written hundreds of articles on safety issues and tips. Joanne has experience in many industries ranging from manufacturing, food processing, timber milling, retail, office and wholesaling providing her with knowledge and experience managing risk and injuries in these industries.

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