Workers’ Memorial Day - From asbestos to fly-in fly-out, more prevention needed

Commemorating Workers’ Memorial Day, UnionsWA has today commented on the need to improve occupational health and safety measures with a priority on preventing work deaths and injuries.

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Meredith Hammat, Secretary UnionsWA said:

“Too many work injuries and deaths are still resulting from catastrophic accidents and exposure to dangerous substances such as asbestos.

“Today’s commemoration is a reminder of the need to also address changing hazards at work, in particular fly-in fly-out rosters that harm mental health, increase risks and cost lives.

“As the resources boom ends, there is a real risk that companies will try to force Australian workers and temporary overseas labour into more and more dangerous work arrangements.

“Time with family and friends is not an optional extra; it should be at the centre of what makes a meaningful life.

“Working arrangements that harm mental health and undermine key relationships in life should not be tolerated.

“To address suicide among fly-in fly-out workers there are immediate measures that should be taken including reasonable rosters, better on-site communications to allow contact with family and friends and on-site services for those needing support during isolated and very long working hours.

“Every worker deserves to return home safely at the end of their work day.”

If you need help now:

  • Call Lifeline’s 24hr crisis telephone line on 13 11 14
  • Access online one-on-one Crisis Support Chat here.  
  • Call 000 if life is in immediate danger.

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