Workplace fatalities continue to devastate

Workplace fatalities continue to devastate

Despite the implementation of Occupational Health and Safety standards over recent decades, deaths at work continue to be a painful reality for many Victorian families. The death of an electrical apprentice at the beginning of September 2016 brought the total death toll from workplace incidents across Australia to 117 for this calendar year alone. Although this remains 100 less than the number of fatalities on Victorian roads, it is still 117 too many. Some workers may lose their lives as a result of specific incidents at work, such as the electrical apprentice who suffered a suspected electrocution injury whilst atop a building in Camberwell. Others can be the result of long-term exposure to workplace stress or trauma. As recent reports indicate, the prevalence of mental health issues arising as a result of work, particularly in emergency services industries, has had a devastating impact on our broader community and has led to many workers taking their own lives. Every person has the right to come home from work. Ongoing vigilance and improvement in safety practices must be continued if we are to achieve the only acceptable standard in workplace safety: zero deaths at work.

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