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Council unveils memorial for people killed and injured at work

Posted 7 April 2009 by (Hurstville News)

Mayor Badalati said the plaque will increase awareness of the importance of workplace health and safety and ultimately help prevent future tragedies.

“Increasing community awareness about occupational health and safety is vital, with too many serious and fatal incidents still occurring at work, including death through exposure to harmful chemicals and asbestos,” he said.

“Hurstville is the St George region’s commercial hub, and the 35,000 people employed here have the right to expect their employers to provide a safe, healthy work environment.”

There were 162 deaths in Australian workplaces in the year to 31 June 2007.

Hurstville City Council is one of several Sydney councils to have placed remembrance plaques honouring dead and injured workers in prominent public spaces, in support of a Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) workplace safety campaign.

The CFMEU and Unions NSW commended Council for helping raise awareness of the importance of safety in the workplace.

The site of the remembrance plaque in McMahon Street will be used in future to host International Day of Mourning ceremonies on 28 April, a time to remember those impacted by workplace-related tragedies.

Mayor Badalati said Council is also seeking to prevent workplace injuries and potential tragedies through its innovative employee awareness program ‘SafetyFirst’, which received a StateCover Occupational Health and Safety Excellence Award last year.

“Council is leading by example by encouraging a culture of safety on the job and supporting outdoor and indoor staff to make wise choices when they are exposed to safety hazards that inevitably crop up on the job,” he said

“SafetyFirst has been a fantastic success for Council - promoting best practice occupational safety and reducing lost time from injuries.”