LawTalk Blog

International Workers Memorial Day 2017

Commemorating workers who have lost their lives from workplace injury

Commemorating those who have lost their lives in workplace accidents

Many lives have been damaged irreparably because of workplace accidents. All of us want to go to work with the intention of returning home safely to our loved ones. But workplace injury is extremely common and these injuries not only impact the affected worker, but the entire workplace, their colleagues, their family, friends and society as a whole.

In some tragic circumstances, workers lose their lives due to traumatic workplace accidents and we work with their surviving spouse and children to ensure they are properly compensated for their loss and that negligent employers are held accountable.

As Andersons has a long history of supporting workers’ rights and advocating for strong industrial and safety protections, each year we spend time commemorating International Workers Memorial Day.

"Globally, approximately 2 million workers die because of injuries or diseases associated with the workplace."


This year it will held on Friday 28 April 2017. It is a day of reflection and a time to remember those who have lost their lives as a result of workplace accidents.

Many serious industrial injuries and fatalities occur because of unavoidable accidents; simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time can have disastrous results.

But in many instances, the injury or death was entirely preventable and occurred because of reckless behaviour, negligence or even simply being complacent about hazards and general health and safety in the workplace.

Often the investigations following a serious injury or fatality show that workers had been complaining about a hazard for a long time, only to have their complaints continuously ignored until it’s too late.

Globally, approximately 2 million workers die because of injuries or diseases associated with the workplace. This includes death by dangerous equipment/plant, mining and construction accidents and exposure to industrial chemicals like asbestos.

Even in an advanced nation like Australia, we often hear horror stories about workers being exposed to dangerous levels of toxins and chemicals in the workplace putting their lives at risk.

International Workers Memorial Day is a time to remember those who died, but also acknowledge the significant strides that countries like Australia have made, and continue to make towards enhancing workplace safety. The introduction of the harmonised Work Health and Safety laws is just one example of the efforts that governments have gone to in order to make workplaces safer and make negligent employers more accountable.

But more can and must be done around workplace health and safety – one workplace death is one too many.

Andersons is proud to work with our clients and partner unions to ensure we all understand our industrial rights and strive to reduce exposure to dangerous hazards. Many in society only think about workplace health and safety when something goes wrong – but as a society, we need workplace health and safety at the forefront of our minds on a daily basis.

When tragedies do occur, like workplace fatalities, it is crucial to keep the victims and their families in our thoughts, which is why a day like International Workers Memorial Day is so important. On 28 April we will be attending the Pilgrim Church in Adelaide for a service to remember those who have lost their lives because of workplace accidents.  

Please note, this Blog is posted in Adelaide, South Australia by Andersons Solicitors. It relates to South Australian legislation. Andersons Solicitors is a medium sized law firm servicing metropolitan Adelaide and regional South Australia across all areas of law for individuals and businesses.

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