International Workers Memorial Day: Saturday 28 April

International Workers Memorial Day will be commemorated in Canberra this Saturday 28 April at the National Workers Memorial Day at 10:00am.

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, 182 workers were killed in 2017, more than 3 people each week. Safe Work Australia figures report that 40 workers have been killed at work as of 20 April 2018. This does not include deaths from diseases like asbestosis.

More than 3000 workers are injured each year at work in Canberra. The most recent Safe Work Australia data shows workplace injuries have increased in the ACT and that Canberra is the second least safe place to work in Australia.

On an industry basis, the ACT continues to show some of the worst workplace injury rates in Australia, including the construction, retail and social assistance sectors.

UnionsACT research has revealed that forty percent of young workers aged under 25 years have been injured at work in the past 12 months.

The International Workers Memorial Day commemoration will include speeches, a short march, and a memorial flag raising ceremony.

Details for the 2018 commemoration

Location:         National Workers Memorial (

Time:               10:00am – 11pm

Date:                Saturday 28 April 2018

Speakers at the commemoration will include Rachel Stephen-Smith (ACT Worksafety Minister), Alex White (UnionsACT Secretary), Jason O’Mara (CFMEU ACT Branch secretary), and rank-and-file union members.

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

“Sadly, Canberra remains a very dangerous place for thousands of workers.

“60 working people suffer a serious injury each week, and we are aware of many injured young workers who are afraid to report their injuries.

“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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