International Workers Memorial Day: Thursday 28 April

International Workers Memorial Day will be commemorated in Canberra on Thursday 28 April at the National Workers Memorial Day at 11am.

The commemoration is part of national and global ceremonies to recognise the tragedy of workplace accidents and deaths, the vast majority of which are preventable.

In Australia, 193 workers were killed in 2015, almost four people each week. Safe Work Australia figures report that 41 workers have been killed at work as of 20 April 2016. This does not include deaths from diseases like asbestosis.

The most recent figures from Safe Work Australia and Work Safe ACT show that more than 2,490 private-sector workers were seriously injured in the ACT.

World-wide, estimates by the International Labour Organisation estimates that 2.34 million people die each year from work-related accidents and diseases.

In addition to the human tragedy of each one of these deaths, the cost for Australia’s community and economy is estimated to be $60 billion each year.

Details for the 2016 commemoration

Location: National Workers Memorial (https://goo.gl/maps/1yx46U7VzvB2)

Time: 11am – 11:45am

Date: Thursday 28 April 2016

Speakers at the commemoration will include Mick Gentleman (ACT Worksafety Minister), Michael O’Connor (CFMEU national secretary), and rank-and-file union members. An invitation was extended to Opposition Leader Jeremy Hanson.

The following quotes are attributable to Alex White, Secretary of UnionsACT:

“Irrespective of what side of politics you’re on, ensuring that everyone has a safe workplace must be the highest priority.

“Sadly, despite recent improvements, Canberra remains the least safe jurisdiction for many industries, with 48 working people suffering a serious injury each week.

“Concerns about safety aren’t a myth, they aren’t red tape.

“Every worker must have the right to go to work and come home safely. Unions will never take a step backward when it comes to safety at work.”