Today is World Day for Safety and Health at Work and Workers’ Memorial Day, providing a reminder to employers of the importance of ensuring that workplaces are safe.
Today, workplaces across Australia will focus on taking action to prevent future work-related deaths, injuries and illnesses, as well as remembering those who have been victims of these incidents.
“28 April provides us with the opportunity to reflect on ways we could prevent work-related injury and illness,” said 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.”
Sherry added that individuals in leadership positions have a “significant” role to play in the reduction of work-related injuries.
“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.”
Although the numbers are continuously improving, 185 Australians lost their lives last year through injuries which occurred in the workplace.
Since the start of this year, 46 Australian workers have died as a result of an incident at work.
“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.”
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