Unions and Health & Safety Reps Make Workplaces Safer
On International Workers Memorial Day unions are continuing their battle to maintain OHS standards around Australia.
Despite state, territory and federal government commitments that OHS standards would not be reduced in the harmonisation process, it’s becoming ‘death by a thousand cuts’.
While the so called Model Act has been signed off, some worrying details remain. We are now into the next phase: the regulations, and already more losses are looming.
This year, after the Commemoration Ceremony at Argyle Square, the participants will be joining the construction workers’ rally outside Trades Hall. Across Australia construction workers are taking a stand for safety. Bad Laws Cost Lives - Construction has always been a dangerous industry. Since the crackdown on unions in the construction industry began under the Howard Government, things have got worse.
There were 19 fatalities due to construction accidents in 2004-5 before the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) was established. This has risen dramatically to 38 in 2007-8 and 32 in the last financial year alone. This is no coincidence. The mad push by employers and politicians against the construction unions directly targets their role in safety. Many ABCC investigations and prosecutions are launched into safety disputes.
The “union safety effect” is very real and very pronounced. Studies have found that workplaces with an active union safety system generally have injury rates half that of workplaces without these systems.
VTHC Secretary Brian Boyd is urging families, elected reps, unionists and others to attend, saying, “With 28 traumatic fatalities in Victoria since the last Workers Memorial Day, we need strong OHS laws and strong unions in workplaces."
When: 9:30 – 10:00am, Wednesday, 28 April
Brian Boyd, VTHC Secretary. (0418 587 461)