Australians will be leaving their shoes out to mark International Workers’ Memorial Day and remember those who never came home from work.
The CFMEU has called for members and supporters to put their shoes out in memory of workers who have been killed or hurt on the job.
“Last year we asked our members and supporters to put their shoes out in memory of a construction worker killed at the Royal Adelaide Hospital site,” a CFMEU statement said.
“This year we’re asking everyone to do the same thing in memory of every worker who has been killed or injured at work.”
CFMEU National Secretary Michael O’Connor said the union had a long and proud history of fighting for workers’ occupational health and safety.
“The CFMEU has for many years led the struggle to ensure that people can go to work and come home to their families without having to risk death or injury,” Mr O’Connor said.
“We always back workers to stand up and speak out about occupational health and safety at work. If you stand up and speak out, you save lives.
“The CFMEU will always work with our members to fight unsafe work practices so they that they can come home to what matters most.”
International Workers’ Memorial Day is a time to remember those workers injured or killed at work and fight for better occupational health and safety on sites, factories, mines and mills across Australia.
Today also marks World Day for Safety and Health at Work, and Safe Work Australia has encouraged businesses across Australia to take action to prevent work-related injury and illness.
According to Safe Work Australia statistics, 193 workers lost their lives at work last year.
“Thursday 28 April is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on ways we can prevent work-related injury and illness,” said Chair Diane Smith-Gander.
“Collectively, we must make it our mission to prevent workplace death, injury and illness—we owe it to ourselves, the families of those who have died, to workers, and to our children, who are our future workforce”.
When Ms Smith-Gander was a child her father was injured in a workplace incident. This experience inspired her lifelong belief in a worker’s right to a safe and healthy workplace, a conviction she brings to her role as Safe Work Australia Chair.
“Our vision is for Australia to lead the world in worker health and safety,” said Ms Smith-Gander.
Australians are encouraged to put their shoes out, take a photo, and share it on Twitter or Facebook with #PutYourShoesOut and #IWMD.