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2023 World Day for Safety and Health at Work and Workers’ Memorial Day

Friday, 28 April 2023 is World Day for Safety and Health at Work (World Day) and Workers’ Memorial Day. This day serves as reminder to honour workers who lost their lives, were injured, or became ill while performing their jobs. It also aims to raise awareness of the importance of implementing safety measures to prevent such incidents from happening again in the future.


However, it is essential to prioritise safety and health protections throughout the year, not just on one day alone. In Australia, employers or persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs) have a duty of care to ensure the health and safety of workers while they are at work in the business or undertaking and others who may be affected by the carrying out of work. Unfortunately, in 2021, Safe Work Australia reported 169 worker fatalities, a completely unacceptable number.


This year's World Day theme is "A safe and healthy working environment is a fundamental principle and right at work." Accompanying World Day, the International Trades Union Congress has set the theme for Workers’ Memorial Day 2023 as ‘Remember the dead, fight for the living’. This theme highlights the importance of honouring the memory of those who have lost their lives while working and continuing to fight for safer working conditions for all.


At Envirolab Group, we consider safety as a top priority, and we are committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment for our staff. We implement appropriate safety systems and provide persona protective equipment (PPE) to ensure the safety of our workers. We also ensure site safety across all our locations through clear markings and signage, follow Australian Standards, and have ISO certification that includes compliance with ISO 45001:2018 for Health and Safety systems. We regularly review our procedures and provide appropriate training and instructions to keep our staff informed of updates.


Moreover, regular safety discussions and staff involvement provide a two-way avenue for developing safety programs and maintaining safety awareness. Our staff working on the front lines can identify problem areas more quickly than someone looking from the outside in.



Examples of PPE in the laboratory

Eye protection
In today's modern laboratory, eye hazards are always present and take many forms. Eye injuries can be easily prevented by wearing appropriate eye protection such as safety googles, safety glasses and safety over-glasses (if wearing prescription glasses), which cover the eyes, eye sockets and the facial area around the eyes and provide protection from impact, dust, mists, and splashes. Face shields additionally provide general protection to the entire face.


Head protection
Safety helmets are important when working in an environment with overhead dangers. Hairnets protect your head from spills, splashes, and other hazards.


Foot protection
It is essential that fully enclosed footwear is worn that completely covers the foot, such as steel-toe caps. Sandals, ballet shoes, cloth sneakers, or perforated shoes do not provide adequate protection against physical or chemical hazards and should be avoided.


Skin, hand and torso protection
When working in a laboratory, it is essential to wear appropriate protective gear, such as a lab coat, gloves, and full-length trousers. High-visibility clothing is ideal when operating vehicles or machinery and it can help individuals also stand out.  


Respiratory protection
Disposable respirators, half or full-face masks, filters and various other breathing apparatus protect the wearer from inhaling harmful substances and particles, including dust, fumes, and gases, that can cause respiratory problems or other health issues. The type of breathing apparatus required will depend on the nature of the hazardous material and the level of protection required.


Hearing protection
In noisy workplaces, earmuffs and plugs help protect the user's ears against excessive noise or ultrasound (high frequency), which can lead to the risk of long-term hearing damage or impairment.

Image of some PPE worn for laboratory work at Envirolab Services.

Above graphic illustrates some examples of PPE typically found at our Envirolab Services labs. This equipment is essential in protecting our staff from potential hazards while they carry out their work.



Getting involved

Managing health and safety may vary depending on the nature of the workplace and the ever-changing working environment. In your workplace, what measures are in place to ensure the safety and health of workers, or what measures would you like to see implemented?


We encourage everyone to recognise the importance of health and safety in the workplace by promoting World Day and Workers' Memorial Day on 28 April 2023. This year, Standards Australia is offering a range of events and resources for download.



About the 2023 theme

The International Labour Organization (ILO) has chosen to focus on the theme of a secure and healthy working environment as a fundamental right at work for this year's World Day. This follows its inclusion in the ILO’s framework of fundamental principles and rights at work.


Good work design supports this right by fostering a safe and healthy physical and psychosocial environment for workers. PCBUs have a duty to consider good work design, which encompass four key considerations:

  1. The work- including how work is preformed, the task duration, frequency and complexity.
  2. Your workers’ needs, preferences and capacities
  3. The physical environment – including the workplace itself, plant, equipment, materials and substances.
  4. The systems and processes involved in the work – including information technology, business management and human interaction.



Further notes

Depending on where you are located, visit your regulator website for information and local activities for World Day for Safety and Health at Work and Workers' Memorial Day on 28 April 2023.



#WorldWHSDay2023 #SafeDay2023 #IWMD2023 #SafetyAtWorkFirst

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