International Workers Memorial Day: Friday 28 April 2017

International Workers Memorial Day will be commemorated in Canberra on Friday 28 April at the National Workers Memorial Day at 10:30am.

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, 178 workers were killed in 2016, almost four people each week. Safe Work Australia figures report that 51 workers have been killed at work as of 26 April 2016. This does not include deaths from diseases like asbestosis.

In August 2016, since the last Workers Memorial Day, a worker was killed in the ACT, the first workplace fatality in three years.

UnionsACT research has revealed that half of all young workers (aged under 25 years) are forced to work in unsafe working conditions. This increases to over 70 percent for migrant workers and international student workers.

The most recent figures from Safe Work Australia and Work Safe ACT show that more than 60 private-sector workers are seriously injured each week in the ACT.

Details for the 2017 commemoration

Location:       National Workers Memorial (

Time:              10:30am – 12pm

Date:              Friday 28 April 2017

Speakers at the commemoration will include Rachel Stephen-Smith (ACT Worksafety Minister), Michael O’Connor (CFMEU national secretary), and rank-and-file union members.

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

“Sadly, Canberra remains the least safe jurisdiction in Australia for many industries.

“60 working people suffering a serious injury each week, and we are aware of many injured workers in casualised jobs who are afraid to report their industries.

“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.”

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