The Minister for Finance and Services Greg Pearce marked the International Day of Mourning by attending a moving interfaith ceremony this morning at Reflection Park in Darling Harbour.
“Around the world today family and friends will be remembering loved ones fatally injured in a workplace incident or those who contracted a terminal dust-related disease,” Mr Pearce said.
“Living with a significant loss can be a very painful and difficult experience.
“Of all the experiences we confront in life, perhaps the toughest to face is the sudden, unexpected loss of someone we love.
“International events such as these help families through stressful times and bring home to businesses, employers, and workers the importance of workplace health and safety,” he said.
During the moving ceremony, families placed personalised ‘memory cards’ onto the Memory Lines sculpture to honour their loved ones.
“Today reinforced once again that workplace health and safety must be the number one priority in any business. No one should lose their life as a result of a workplace incident,” Mr Pearce said.
“Last year there were 141 deaths on worksites as well as 273 asbestos reported deaths.
“The devastating toll of these deaths on family and friends is incalculable.
“Through the combined efforts of industry, stakeholders, WorkCover and the Government, workplace injuries in NSW are at their lowest level in 20 years.
“Over many years NSW businesses have taken significant steps to change their workplace health and safety culture, and we are now among the safest in the world. But more can always be done.
“One death can forever change the lives of so many people – family, friends, colleagues – and nobody remains unchanged by a workplace fatality.
“I ask everyone to take a moment to remember these people, and the grief experienced by the people they have left behind,” Mr Pearce said.
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