Wednesday 28 April is World Day for Safety and Health at Work and Workers' Memorial Day. The day provides an opportunity to reflect on how to prevent work-related occupational diseases, deaths, injuries, and illnesses. It is also a day to remember those that have died from a work-related injury or illness.
While the number of work-related fatalities in Australia has been steadily decreasing over the last decade, any workplace death is tragic and unacceptable. The latest finalised data shows that in 2019, 183 workers were fatally injured at work.
By raising awareness of work health and safety (WHS) issues and taking action to eliminate or minimise health and safety risks at work, we can help prevent further work-related fatalities and injuries.
The World Day for Safety and Health at Work theme for 2021 as set by the International Labour Organization 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.
Workplaces can do this by undertaking risk management that is planned, systematic and covers all reasonably foreseeable hazards and associated risks. A risk assessment can be undertaken with varying degrees of detail depending on the type of hazard and the information, data, and resources that you have available.
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. See our risk webpage for a step-by-step guide to managing WHS risks.
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. See our mental health webpage for more information on what you can do at your workplace.
The International Trade Union Confederation have set the theme for Workers’ Memorial Day 2021 as ‘Health and Safety is a fundamental workers' right’.
We encourage everyone to raise awareness about health and safety in the workplace.
International Labour Organization (ILO) have developed resources for you to use to raise awareness for health and safety at work:
How to get involved
Get involved and promote the importance of a safe and healthy workplace this World Day for Safety and Health at Work and Workers’ Memorial Day on 28 April by:
- using our poster to raise awareness in your workplace
- using #worldWHSday2021, #SafeDay2021 or #IWMD2021 on social media and share our social media posts
- prioritising work health and safety discussions in your in physical or virtual work meetings
- attending a virtual Workers’ Memorial Day event in your area
- arranging a safety expert to speak in your workplace
- watching the XXII World Congress on Safety and Health at Work: Prevention in the Connected Age
- Safe Work Australia - Work-related traumatic injury fatalities Australia 2019
- International Labour Organization (ILO)
- Trade Union Congress (TUC)
- International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)
- Australian council of trade unions (ACTU)
- XXII World Congress on Safety and Health at Work: Prevention in the Connected Age
Visit your state and territory regulator websites for information and local activities for World Day for Safety and Health at Work and Workers’ Memorial Day on 28 April.