Dark day to mark start of improvement
Tuesday was World Day for Safety and Health at Work and Workers’ Memorial Day, an important event to remind businesses of their safety obligations, and to remember those killed at work.
“28 April provides us with the opportunity to reflect on ways we could prevent work-related injury and illness,” says Safe Work Australia Chair, Ann Sherry.
“Under the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2022, governments, unions, industry and business leaders are striving to improve work health and safety and we all have an important role to play.”
“We need to reduce workers’ exposure to hazards and risks,” she said.
“By using good design principles we can minimise exposure by designing out the risk from the beginning – this is integral to prevention.”
While the numbers are improving, 185 Australians lost their lives in 2014 through injuries in the workplace.
Already in 2015, 46 Australian workers have fallen victim to a fatal incident at work.
The transport sector remains the most fatal, but there is a particularly high rate of injury and death in the construction, mining and healthcare sectors as well.
“The number of workplace deaths in Australia is quite simply unacceptable,” said Electrical Trades Union (ETU) national secretary Allen Hicks.
“All workers have a right to go to work in the morning confident that they won’t be injured or killed. Their families should be able to feel confident that their loved ones will return home safe. Every workplace death is preventable, and each one represents the loss of a parent, a child, a friend and a workmate.”