Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters MP will today be speaking at the Bendigo Health and Safety Representative Conference held at the Old Bendigo Fire Station.
Over the past 4 years on average there have been about 463 reported injuries that occur across Bendigo and Central Victorian workplaces. That equates to about 9 serious injuries a week.
"These statistics are far too high. Every statistic is someone's mother, father, partner, sister, brother or loved one.
"Too many Central Victorians are not safe at work - too many children cannot be sure their mums and dads will come home safely after each work day.
"Despite a bigger and better focus on OH&S, it is still the case that too many workplaces around the country remain unsafe.
"One factor is the rise of insecure work which has resulted in less safe workplaces – workers who fear losing their job are unlikely to speak up about dangers; quite the opposite, their lack of security of employment makes them more likely to accept poor conditions at work, including unsafe ones,” said Ms Chesters.
Ms Chesters also spoke to the delegates about the rise in the number of workplace related deaths. As at 16 October, 129 Australian workers have been killed at work in 2017 including 27 in the construction industry.
"Tragically, for the construction industry workplace deaths have increased from 21 to 27, a 28% increase, for the same period as last year.
"Since the reintroduction of the Liberal Turnbull Government’s Australian Building and Construction Commission, there has been an increase in deaths and serious injuries in the construction industry.
"It's a fact that the Liberal Government's ABCC is making it harder for construction workers to stand up for safety on site.
"All we have seen from Malcolm Turnbull's Workplace Relations and Employment Minister, Michaelia Cash is union bashing and anti-worker laws that will only compromise and not improve workplace health and safety.
"Unlike the Turnbull Liberal Government, Labor believes safety at work should never be compromised.
"Labor believes it is vital to work with unions and industry to ensure that effective and acceptable OH&S standards are developed and enforced across the entire country."
"I will always advocate for the right of workers to have input into the matters designed to protect their health and safety.
"All Central Victorian workers should be able to leave home in the morning knowing that they will be safe from danger, safe from injury, safe from work-related illness.
"We work to live, not to get killed. Every worker has the right to come home safely."
Today's conference is being held during Health and Safety Month which is promoted nationwide to encourage discussion about safety in the workplace.