History repeats itself
“Fire’s On” is the warning call that was given before dynamite was blasted as workers tunnelled through hillsides across Australia in the 1800’s.
“Fire’s On ” is also the name of the painting by iconic Australian painter Arthur Stretton that depicts men bringing a fatally injured worker out from the Lapstone Tunnel which eventually became the Blue Mountains railway link.
This is an incredible painting that portrays a critical moment and shows the harsh landscape and conditions these men worked under.
We have improved working conditions in Australia since that time and we think we all know a lot more about working safely now. However, workplace accidents are still claiming the lives of workers across Australia. There were 19 work-related notifiable fatalities during April 2014 — 13 male workers, and 4 male and 2 female bystanders*.
Transport, postal & warehousing workplaces accounted for 10 fatalities, 3 fatalities occurred in Agriculture, forestry & fishing workplaces, 2 fatalities each occurred in Construction and Mining workplaces and 1 fatality each occurred in Accommodation & food services and Other services workplaces.
Granted there is an incredible improvement since tunnelling the Blue Mountains Link in the nineteen century, but we still have a long way to go.
* Safe Work Australia “Notifiable Fatalities Monthly Report April 2014