April 28 is marked every year as the International Day of Mourning to honour and remember people who lost their lives at work through a workplace incident or occupational disease. In Sydney, this Saturday, the annual memorial service will be held in Reflection Park, Darling Harbour for their family, friends and colleagues.
John Nagle, interim CEO of icare (NSW’s insurance and care provider), who will attend the ceremony, said the impact of a death in the workplace never ends for the families and workplace communities of the deceased.
“Today we are joined by hundreds of people, some of whom have attended for many years, in honour of a loved one or friend they lost. It is a day for icare to reaffirm our commitment to create workplaces with a culture of safety,” Mr Nagle said.
“It is important that we honour the lives of those lost through a fatality at work, and learn from the experiences of the families who remain, so we can all return home safely from work every day.
“The latest statistics show there are 53 workers who died in our state in the last year. Each death has a devastating flow-on effect on the community as well as a significant financial, social and emotional impact on loved ones and workplaces,” he said.
“Even though the number of fatal incidents in NSW workplaces has reduced by 49 per cent over the last 10 years, one death, and one serious injury at work, is still one too many.
“icare’s support staff are there immediately to provide specialist support, counselling and assistance to the family and workmates. We are there for them during the initial time of shock and disbelief, and we continue to be by their side for as long as they need us, for as many years as they seek our support.
“Our counsellors recognised just how vulnerable and confused families and loved ones feel after a traumatic workplace death, and developed a printed resource they could refer to whenever they needed to, as they worked through the ordeal.
“As a result, last year icare produced a Grief Support Pack to help families deal with grief and to guide them through the different agencies that are involved when a person dies at work, and the support services that are available to them,” Mr Nagle said.
For more information on icare’s grief and counselling support services for family members, please contact (02) 9216 3375.