28 April Workers' Memorial Day

Fight for the Living- Mourn for the Dead


Three Meatworkers have been killed at work in the last six months. Come and pay our respects to them.
Come to the ‘Remembrance Rock’
Corner Victoria and Lygon Streets
Carlton South
The ceremony will commence at 10.30am

Speakers include:
•    Brian Boyd, VTHC Secretary
•    Deanne May, Executive Director IDSA
•    Judge Jennifer Coate, State Coroner of Victoria

The international theme for 2011 is the crucial role played by trade unions, strong regulation and effective enforcement in securing safer workplaces. This theme is particularly relevant given Australia is currently in the process of harmonising our OHS legislation. Victoria’s union movement will continue to fight for the best model law for all workers.

IDSA will be hosting morning tea following the event in Meeting Rm 1 (entry from Victoria St)

Workers Memorial Day is organised by the Victorian Trades Hall Council in conjunction with Industrial Deaths and Advocacy Inc (IDSA) – Work to live; not to die.

Union workplaces are safer workplaces
Work should provide a living, not cause a death.

Workers Memorial Day (WMD) is an international day that unions, workers and their families and communities around the world join together to remember and mourn for those who have been killed or injured at work, and to fight for the living. Each year an international theme is chosen

  • The Australian Safety and Compensation Council estimated that approximately 14% of all cancer deaths in Australian males and 2.2% of cancer deaths in Australian females are caused by occupational exposures.  This is probably still conservative, but greatly increased on a previous estimate of 4%.  Some estimates, taken from Finnish and Norwegian work, places estimates at between 14% - 23%
  • It means that every year at least 5000 invasive cancers and about 34000 non-melanoma skin cancers are being caused by occupational exposures in Australia.
  • Approximately 1.5 million Australian workers may currently be exposed to occupational carcinogens.
  • Australia has the highest rate of recorded mesothelioma in the world.  The only known cause of this cancer is exposure to asbestos.  90% of all Australian meso cases in men are attributable to occupational exposure. Yet we believe the current Model Regs on Asbestos will reduce protections for Victorian workers
  • All governments need to review and improve the scope of their laws and enforcement activities.

What can your workplace do?

  • Send your OHS rep to the commemoration ceremony.
  • Ensure you have an active and trained elected occupational health and safety representative – if you don’t have one, elect one with the help of your union.
  • Talk to your workmates and observe a minute’s silence at your workplace at 11.00am on Thursday 28 April.
  •  Give your workplace a Union health check:
    • Union organisation: Make sure you have effective union coverage across the workplace, including shiftwork and off-site workers, contractors, etc
    • Be union Active: do a workplace inspection, speak to workers, map the workplace, etc.
    • Union audit: Are systems working effectively? Or do you raise issues again and again without anything being done? If so, consider other actions: PINs, calling your AMIEU Organiser or Health and Safety Officer.