Twelve months of work-related deaths

In 2008, prominent occupational health and safety (OHS) advocate, Hilda Palmer wrote about the inadequate estimates of work-related deaths in the United Kingdom. Keeping work-related death confined to traditional categories provides a false understanding of the reality of OHS. Palmer wrote:

“Far from being complacent about the health and safety record in this country, we need to be honest and open, and examine what is really going on”.

Recently, at the 2021 Workers Memorial, a representative of the Victorian Trades Hall read out a list of those who have died at, or due to, work in the last 12 months. It was a list of 47 people. The categories have expanded to include truck incidents, asbestosis, silicosis as well as the more traditional traumatic injuries. Curiously no suicides. A transcripted list of those 47 is below.

  • On the 29th of April, a 26-year-old man died in hospital from serious head injuries after a fall at a residential construction site in Templestowe.
  • On the 30th of April, a 34-year-old woman was crushed by marble slabs inside a shipping container at Dingley Village.
  • On the 4th of May, a 53-year-old builder has died after he fell three metres at a residential property near Kerang.
  • On the 8th of May, a 86 year old man died after he was thrown from an ATV when it rolled downhill at a Glenaroua property in central Victoria.
  • On the 12th of May, a 21-year-old delivery driver was killed after his truck rolled.
  • On the 5th of June, a 56-year-old worker unloading light towers off a truck was crushed after the load shifted and two towers fell on top of him.
  • On the 10th of June, a 73-year-old died of complications of disease as a result of exposure to chemicals at work, including benzene and butadiene.
  • On the 23rd of June, a 78-year-old man died after being hit by his own car while delivering newspapers. The man was partially out of his stationary car when it accelerated and struck him before crashing into a fence.
  • On the 29th of June, an 83-year-old Whitehorse resident died from complications of disease.
  • On the 29th of June, a 52-year-old owner-driver from Cheltenham died after his vehicle struck a tree in East Gippsland.
  • On the 2nd of July, a 50-year-old AMWU member was killed in a fatal industrial accident in Bendigo.
  • On the 4th of July, an 83-year-old man succumbed to acute bronchial asthma/respiratory tract infection in Brunswick.
  • On the 24th of July, a 60-year-old farmer died after his tractor rolled on a property near Bacchus Marsh.
  • On the 26th of July, a 34-year-old man was crushed while working on a tipper truck at his Lilydale home.
  • On the 27th of July, a 35-year-old man died when the truck he was a passenger in lost control around a bend and struck a tree near Colac.
  • On the 29th of July, a 62-year-old emergency services worker died from Hep B and Liver Cancer due to his contact with contaminated bloods and body fluids over a six-year period.
  • On the 2nd of August, a 70-year-old emergency services worker died from Bladder cancer and Prostate cancer connected to 41 years of firefighting duties.
  • On the 12th of August, a 65-year-old male emergency services worker died from complications of illness as a result of attending chemical incidents over a 30 year period.
  • On the 18th of August, a 37-year-old subcontractor was electrocuted while undertaking electrical work in Croydon.
  • On the 24th of August, a 78-year-old male emergency services worker died from complications of illness as a result of asbestos exposure.
  • On the 27th of August, a 36-year-old woman has died during a bushland regeneration project after a large tree fell on her vehicle during a storm near Narbethong.
  • On the 3rd of October, a 59-year-old man manufacturing worker died as a result of exposure to silica dust and fibres.
  • On the 5th of October, a 64-year-old machinery operator died in hospital after falling approx.1.4m at a printing business in Clayton
  • On the 12th of October, a 28-year-old man died after the B-double truck he was driving veered off the road near Mildura.
  • On the 21st of October, a 59-year-old traffic controller died after being struck by a vehicle in Trawalla.
  • On the 22nd of October, a 71-year-old man died when his clothing became tangled in machinery at his factory in Geelong.
  • On the 28th of October, a 65-year-old man died after being run over by a truck and trailer at the company’s truck depot in Maribyrnong.
  • On the 12th of November, a 29-year-old farmhand in Gerang Gerung died after the telehandler he was using touched overhead power lines, electrocuting him.
  • On the 8th of December, a 28-year-old worker was killed after being caught in a machine in Ballarat.
  • On the 14th of December, a 57-year-old Australia Post worker died after being struck by a vehicle while on his motorbike in Baw Baw.
  • On the 17th of December, a 53-year-old man was killed after his ride-on mower rolled down an embankment in the Yarra Ranges.
  • On the 28th of December, a 78-year-old worker died of disease as a result of welding galvanised aluminium without appropriate ventilation.
  • On the 2nd of February 2021, a 29-year-old man was killed at a hay bale production facility in Bridgewater, near Bendigo, when he became entangled in machinery.
  • On the 6th of February, a 63-year-old woman died after her wheelchair toppled over in a taxi in Echuca.
  • On the 10th of February, a 47-year-old truck driver was killed while crossing the Victorian – South Australian border after a collision between three trucks at Serviceton.
  • On the 12th of February, an 83-year-old man died of cancer as a result of asbestos exposure over the course of his employment in Morwell.
  • On the 15th of February, a 35-year-old man was killed in an explosion on a farm in Fieldstone, northwest of Melbourne.
  • On the 19th of February, a 46-year-old man was killed after being crushed between a turret punch and his workbench at a metal fabricator in Epping.
  • On the 2nd of March, a 77-year-old man died from endocarditis as a result of a work injury in Glenburn.
  • On the 3rd of March, a 59-year-old man died from silicosis after exposure over the course of his employment in Keysborough.
  • On the 3rd of March, a 61-year-old man was killed while using a reach stacker after steel fell from an elevated storage rack and crushed him at a storage facility in Dandenong South.
  • On the 9th of March, a 56-year-old man was killed after hitting his head in a fall in Collingwood.
  • On the 9th of March, a 28-year-old man died in a truck accident in Cobden
  • On the 13th of March, a 44-year-old man died when a branch fell on his tent in Healesville
  • On the 21st of March, a 63-year-old painter working alone on a residential property died after being found unresponsive by the property’s owner in Terang
  • On the 22nd of March, a 21-year-old lift worker undertaking electrical work alone on a car stacker was killed in West Melbourne after he was electrocuted
  • On the 22nd of April, a 75-year-old mobile mechanic was killed in Ferntree Gully while working alone under a car when the car rolled off a trolley jack and crushed him.

Kevin Jones

Categories agriculture, ATV, cancer, chemicals, construction, death, disease, dust, health, OHS, quad bike, safety, transport, workplace

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