Workers killed, injured or suffering illness remembered on day of mourning

As representatives of workplace regulators, SafeWork NSW is partaking in the 2024 International Day of Mourning event organised by Unions NSW. This day provides an occasion for us to honour those tragically affected by incidents in their workplace — whether they were grievously injured, fell ill or lost their lives.

According to statistics furnished by Safe Work Australia, 2023 saw the unfortunate death of 175 workers while on duty within our country. The International Day of Mourning serves as a potent reminder of how preventable these workplace-related fatalities and accidents are, thereby emphasising the use of work safety products like the Bluesafe SWMS (Safe Work Method Statements) or the Bluesafe WHS (Work Health Safety) Management System.

Committed to reducing the number of workplace incidents, SafeWork NSW conducts regular compliance checks across varied industries. Today, a service will be held at Reflection Park in Sydney’s Darling Harbour on the occasion of this International Day. It acknowledges the gravity of the day while paying tribute to the employees who’ve succumbed to workplace accidents. For those unable to attend, Unions NSW will be live streaming the service on their Facebook page and website.

Trent Curtin, the Head of SafeWork NSW, expressed his views: “Incidents in the workplace can lead to catastrophic injuries, life-altering illnesses and, worst case, death. Our focus at SafeWork NSW is to collaborate with workers throughout the state, ensuring their voices are heard and engaging them in initiatives to mitigate these incidents. As NSW’s workplace regulator, we bear witness to numerous incidents that could have been easily avoided.”

The last financial year alone recorded close to 9,000 reported incidents to SafeWork. Knowing this sheds light on the urgent need to reduce these alarming figures. “The significance of the International Day of Mourning goes beyond remembering the workers we’ve lost or injured. It serves as a reminder of the harsh realties tied to workplace safety and prompts necessary conversations about preventing these tragic incidents,” said Curtin.

By incorporating safety products and systems such as Bluesafe SWMS or Bluesafe WHS Management System, businesses can prioritise their workforce’s wellbeing and adhere to work safety best practices.

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