The minister for employment and workplace relations, financial services and superannuation Bill Shorten has spoken out about the importance of workplace safety and taking care on the job.
In a speech delivered April 24, Mr Shorten noted that while we take a day out every year to honour those who have given their lives for Australia in combat, there is no day of remembrance for those who die every year in workplace fatalities.
"It is right to venerate our lost ones, as we do today and will do tomorrow, but I believe that all too often workplace deaths have a pointlessness about them," said Mr Shorten.
According to Mr Shorten, 45 Australians have already lost their lives at work this year. That fact emphasises just how important it is to ensure that you have the right safety equipment on hand when planning a big job or construction project.
For example, anyone working on road construction or maintenance will need to take care to ensure that they have traffic control equipment such as attenuators and road signs in place.
Workers should also take care to ensure that they are following all the necessary safety precautions when using access equipment such as scissor lifts or cherry pickers.
Mr Shorten went on to emphasise that the majority of deaths and serious injuries which occur on the job "are predictable safety failures".
"To say workplace injuries are the price we pay for profit is ignorant and uncivilised," said Mr Shorten.
"We’re better than that, and we must stand as one - employees and employers - and say we won’t stop this fight until every Australian who leaves for work comes home safe and in good health, and satisfied with a good day’s work."