Every year, Victorian Trades Hall Council hosts a memorial service to remember those Victorians who lost their lives at work. The 2022 theme is: Make safe and healthy work a fundamental right.
On Thursday, April 28, International Workers’ Memorial Day will be held in person at Trades Hall. The event will include speeches from the Hon. Tim Pallas, Treasurer and Minister for Industrial Relations; the Hon. Ingrid Stitt, Minister for Workplace Safety and Minister for Early Childhood; Colin Radford, WorkSafe CEO; and Australian Services Union (Victorian Private Sector Branch) Secretary Matt Norrey. It will be followed by a poignant ceremony whereby union members lay out pairs of boots as the workers who lost their lives are named.
In 2021, 66 Victorian workers lost their lives. This includes 14 fatalities in manufacturing, 13 in construction, and four that were related to COVID-19. So far in 2022, a further 12 workers have been killed at work or passed away because of an illness contracted in the course of employment.
Victorian Trades Hall Council continues its innovative and proactive approach to Occupational Health and Safety, running training, outreach, providing advice and campaigning for key industrial reforms. Already in 2022, organisers through the Hall’s COVID-Safe team have visited hundreds of Victorian workplaces to promote worker safety.
Quotes attributable to Victorian Trades Hall Council Assistant Secretary Wil Stracke
“This day is a time to remember the 66 Victorian workers who lost their lives in 2021 and the further 12 who have lost their lives in 2022 so far. That is 78 workers who do not get to return home. And it is 78 too many. Every worker deserves to come home safe and healthy every single day.
“Those deaths span fatalities on farms and construction sites, right across the spectrum to people who tragically ended their own lives as a result of work-related psychiatric injury, as well as those who died from occupational illness, many years after being exposed to hazardous substances at work.
“As part of this day, we also acknowledge and pay tribute to the daily work and advocacy of our active unionists and Health and Safety Reps who help keep our workplaces safe and hold employers to account. When we have safe and healthy workplaces, we have safe and healthy communities. For these reasons we continue to campaign for effective measures to protect workers from harm, and to give injured workers dignity and compassion. We remember the dead and fight like hell for the living.”
For media inquiries, contact Suzi Taylor, VTHC Communications: 0447 333 834
Event details The event will be live-streamed through the Victorian Trades Hall Council Facebook page or you are welcome to attend VTHC in person, at Memorial Rock, corner Lygon and Victoria Street, Carlton.
10:30am: Event begins
11am: One minute’s silence, laying of wreaths