Organisations and workers are being encouraged to seriously reflect on how to prevent work-related occupational diseases, deaths, injuries, and illnesses ahead of World Day for Safety and Health at Work and Workers’ Memorial Day on April 28.
While the number of work-related fatalities in Australia has been steadily decreasing over the last decade, the latest finalised data shows that in 2019, 183 workers were fatally injured at work.
Safe Work Australia (SWA) said increased awareness of work health and safety issues and taking action to eliminate or minimise health and safety risks at work, was proven to prevent further work-related fatalities and injuries.
The theme for 2021 as set by the International Labour Organization (ILO) is ‘Anticipate, prepare and respond to crises and invest now in resilient OHS systems.’
The theme acknowledges the impact that the global COVID-19 pandemic has had on our working lives and the importance of building an effective, resilient, and adaptable WHS framework.
“WHS risk management can be as simple as a discussion with your workers or involve specific risk analysis tools and techniques developed for specific risks or recommended by safety professionals. For some complex situations, expert or specialist advice may be useful,” SWA said.
“It is important to remember to also manage psychological and mental health risks. Under WHS laws, you must eliminate or minimise the risk to psychological health and safety arising from the work carried out by your business or undertaking as much as you reasonably can.”
The International Trade Union Confederation has set the theme for Workers’ Memorial Day 2021 as ‘Health and Safety is a fundamental workers’ right’.
The ILO has developed a range of resources for organisations to use to raise awareness for health and safety at work. View them here.