It is with great sadness that I rise to speak on the tragic deaths of two drilling rig workers in western Victoria yesterday on the Stena Clyde mobile rig stationed approximately 90 kilometres offshore from Warrnambool. This morning’s media reports state that the two men, a 32-year-old from the Northern Territory and a 60-year-old from Scotland, were killed when the heavy machinery they were operating failed and they were struck by a dislodged part of the drill. Nothing could prepare a family for losing a loved one at work, and I pass on my deepest sympathies to the families and colleagues of those two men.
Work-related fatalities, injuries and illnesses have an enormous impact on all facets of Australian society. Workplace fatalities affect workers’ families, colleagues, employers and the community.
Much work is being done to highlight the importance of workplace safety; however, there are still incidents and accidents with the worst possible results.
On 28 April each year many countries around the world acknowledge International Workers Memorial Day, a day to remember those who have died as a result of traumatic incidents at work. In the period between the 2011 and 2012 memorial days 26 people died in Victoria from traumatic incidents suffered at work. This figure does not include those killed as a result of other workplace incidents such as car or truck-related incidents or deaths from illness and disease. Yesterday’s tragic event is a reminder to all of us to be vigilant in our workplaces and always have workplace safety as our no. 1 priority. I encourage a speedy investigation into this tragic incident so that there are no more lives lost.