LawTalk Blog

International Workers Memorial Day 2020

hand holding commemoration candle

Commemorating those who have lost their lives in workplace accidents

Many lives have been damaged irreparably because of workplace accidents. We all want  – and should be able – to go to work with the expectation of returning home safely to our loved ones. However, this is sadly not a reality for all.

Unfortunately, Workplace Injury and Accidents are extremely common, so we must remember that these injuries not only impact the affected worker but also the entire workplace, their colleagues, family, friends and society as a whole. Tragically, some workers even lose their lives due to these workplace accidents, so the impact is far more significant.

At Andersons, we recognise the pain of any surviving spouse or domestic partner, minor children, or other dependents, so we work to ensure they are adequately compensated for their loss.

We have a long history of supporting workers’ rights and advocating for strong industrial and safety protections; therefore, we commemorate International Workers Memorial Day each year.

"Globally, approximately 1 million workers die because of injuries or diseases associated with the workplace."

This year, International Workers Memorial Day will be held on Wednesday, 28th April. It is a day set aside to reflect and remember those who have lost their lives as a result of workplace accidents.

Workplace Injuries and Fatalities

Many serious industrial injuries and fatalities occur because of unavoidable accidents, simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But in too many instances, the injury or death was entirely preventable. It occurred because of reckless behaviour, negligence or even simple complacency about hazards and general health and safety in the workplace.

Too often, the investigation that follows a serious workplace injury or fatality reveals that workers had been complaining about a hazard for a long time, only to have their complaints ignored until it was too late.

Globally, approximately 1 million workers die each year because of injuries or diseases associated with the workplace. This includes death due to dangerous plant or equipment, mining and construction accidents, and exposure to hazardous chemicals and materials like asbestos.

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

International Workers Memorial Day is a time to remember those who died, and acknowledge the significant advances that countries like Australia have made, and continue to make towards enhancing workplace safety.

The introduction of the harmonised work health and safety laws in 2012 is just one example of the governments’ efforts to make workplaces safer and hold employers and workers more accountable for workplace safety.

However, even with these measures in place there is still more to be done as even one workplace death is too many.

The Importance of Workplace Health and Safety

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

When tragedies like workplace fatalities do occur, 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 Wednesday, 28th April, Pilgrim Uniting Church in Adelaide will hold a service to remember those who have lost their lives because of workplace accidents.


If you or a loved one has suffered from a workplace injury or accident, please contact us - we’re here to help you get what you need to get back on your feet as quickly as possible.

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Get in touch with today's blog writer:
Margaret Kaukas

Special Counsel in Employment Law  and  Workplace Accidents

Please note, this Blog is posted in Adelaide, South Australia by Andersons Solicitors. It relates to Australian Federal and 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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