Fifty-one workers were killed while they were doing their
jobs last year, the Council of Trade Unions says.
Tomorrow is Workers Memorial Day, an international day of
remembrance and action for workers who died at the workplace.
The CTU believed Workers Memorial Day was an opportunity for
reflection and commitment to change.
"It's all too easy to think of these tragic deaths as just
another number; another empty statistic rather than someone
loved, someone who was an important part of a community,"
president Helen Kelly said.
"Fathers, sons, mothers, daughters, loved members of family
fabric. 11 of the 51 workers who died at work were forestry
workers, this makes forestry the most dangerous industry to
More than 100 family members of forestry workers killed at
work, were today attending a memorial service.
Tomorrow the CTU would be raising money by "shaking buckets
on street corners" for a new Workers Memorial Fund which
would fund legal support, advice, advocacy and representation
to victims' families when their loved one was killed at work,
Ms Kelly said.
"And at lunchtime we will silently process through Wellington
streets, starting at the Railway Station at noon, to remember
those who died at work.
"Our procession will end at Parliament - a place which has
the power to make things safer at work," she said.
"We need safer workplaces with workers, employers, and
politicians working together to ensure that the right
regulations and practices are in place.
"In no industry should the risks be so great and the
safeguards so lacking, that workers are regularly harmed," Ms
"Regardless of whether you work in an office or in the forest
there should be no question that you'll be able to finish
your work day alive."
- Rebecca Quilliam of APNZ