International Workers Memorial Day is about remembering those who have been killed, disabled, or physically or mentally injured by their work.
When it comes to workplace injuries and fatalities, Australia presents some sobering statistics. The most recent data from 2020 shows:
- 1,500 workers were injured at work every single day
- 194 people were killed on the job.
- More than 5,000 workers died from preventable occupational diseases.
Today provides an opportunity to reflect on how to prevent work-related deaths, diseases, injuries, and illnesses.
Victorian Trades Hall Council Assistant Secretary Wil Stracke says that in Victoria alone, 62 people have been killed in workplace incidents or due to workplace hazards since last year’s Memorial Day.
“And we know that official toll is only a fraction of the reality. Because it’s impossible to identify every work-related physical and mental illness that leads to a worker’s death.”
Showing up at work shouldn’t mean putting your life at risk. Not only are these figures unacceptable but they are preventable.
A report released by the ACTU this week highlights how Scott Morrison and the Liberal Government have been missing in action when it comes to ensuring workers can do their job in safety.
Since Scott Morrison became Prime Minister, there has been an 8% increase in workplace serious injuries and a 32% increase in workplace deaths. Going to work has become more dangerous under the Morrison Government.
Australian workers need a Federal Government that will take action to make work safe, secure and healthy; a Government that cares about working people.
Workers are people first. That’s why union members stand together for safer work, better workplace conditions and protected workers’ rights.
Stracke encapsulates why we continue to commemorate this day: “Every worker should be safe at work. Every workplace death is preventable.
“We are here today to remember the dead and fight like hell for the living.”