27 Apr 2023
Hunter Workers will commemorate the lives lost and injuries sustained by workers on International Workers Memorial Day this Friday. The event will take place at the Workers Memorial plaque on the grass at the Newcastle Foreshore, Wharf Rd at 12 pm, April 28th.
International Workers' Memorial Day is a solemn occasion to remember and honour workers who have lost their lives, have been injured, or fallen ill due to work-related accidents or hazards. It is also a reminder of the importance of workplace safety and the need for greater efforts to protect workers from harm.
This year thus far, 36 Australian workers have lost their lives at work. The latest figures from Safe Work Australia reveal that 160 workers lost their lives in 2022. These statistics illustrate the urgent need for increased efforts to prevent deaths and injuries in the workplace.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that over 2.3 million men and women worldwide succumb to work-related accidents or diseases every year, corresponding to over 6000 deaths every single day. Furthermore, around 340 million occupational accidents and 160 million victims of work-related illnesses occur globally each year.
International Workers Memorial Day also highlights the failure of the current workers' compensation system in New South Wales, which has left injured workers in financial hardship, stress, and mental health crisis after 12 years of Liberal mismanagement. Hunter Workers urges for an overhaul of the system, noting there is enough evidence and reviews into the system over many years to highlight how broken the system is for injured and ill workers. The health and well-being of workers needs to be the central theme a new workers comp system, one that ensures employers take responsibility for future sustainability. It is no longer okay for injured and ill workers to face further suffering and harm due to employer and insurer hostility.
Leigh Shears, Hunter Workers Secretary:
"It's an encouraging milestone for working people & our families with new ALP gov appointing the state’s first minister for WHS in many years. Hunter Workers looks forward to working with Minister Cotsis to improve the health and safety outcomes on the job and the better treatment of injured workers and stop the deaths in the job."
“This day is a reminder that workplace safety is not a privilege, but a right that all workers deserve.
We must do better to protect our workers and ensure that every worker returns home safely at the end of the day.
Workplace fatalities and injuries have devastating consequences for workers and their families, and we cannot afford to be complacent in our efforts to prevent them.”