This year, we marked International Workers’ Memorial Day with moving services in Launceston and Hobart. It’s a day where we grieve and mark the passing of those who have been injured or lost their lives at work and renew our commitment to fight on for the living.
“International Workers’ Memorial Day today is the day we remember those who have died or been injured at work. 36 workers have died in Australia already this year – these figures don’t include those who have taken their lives due to work related stress or exposure to vicarious trauma,” said CPSU General Secretary Thirza White.
“None of this has been helped by an underfunded regulator which is struggling to recruit and retain inspectors. It takes 5 years to get Inspectors up to speed and trained, by which time they are often head hunted by other organisations where they’re paid a whole lot more.”
After the better part of a decade waiting, the families of Tasmanians who have lost their lives at work are celebrating that funding has finally been committed to finish a memorial to those lives lost. Guy Hudson founded the Tasmanian Workers Commemorative Park in Elizabeth Gardens, Launceston, after his son died in a forklift accident. For years it has stood, half finished but it can now be completed thanks for funding from both the State and Federal governments.
Each year, thousands of Tasmanian workers are seriously injured at work. Over the last decade, there have been 87 work-related fatalities in Tasmania. Every injury and death in a workplace is preventable – every year that Government’s fail to improve protections for workers means more lives lost or changed forever.
Too many employers, especially multi-million multinational corporations, simply see the occasional fines they’re slapped with for permitting an injury or death to occur on their watch as the cost of doing business. They can afford it – so they do nothing. We can not permit that to continue.
Tasmania is now the only jurisdiction in Australia that has not implemented, or is planning to implement, industrial manslaughter laws. We call on Minister Elise Archer, and the Rockliff Government, to commit to legislating industrial manslaughter laws in our state.
Sign Unions Tasmania’s and stay tuned for public actions in coming weeks: https://www.megaphone.org.au/petitions/tasmania-needs-industrial-manslaughter-laws
Jessica Munday, Secretary of Unions Tasmania: “We host these services every year to say to injured workers and families who have lost loved ones that we haven’t forgotten about your pain and that we are committed to the continuing fight for improved workplace safety.”