Bill Shorten opens national Workers Memorial

A TRIBUTE to the hundreds of Australians who die from workplace incidents and diseases each year was unveiled in Canberra on Sunday to mark International Workers' Memorial Day.

The National Workers Memorial at Kings Park on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin was opened by Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten.

"The National Workers Memorial is a place of reflection and acts as a reminder of the importance of staying safe at work," Mr Shorten said.

The memorial features eight columns, which represent the contributions and sacrifice of workers from each state.

The concentric rings on the pavement represent the ripple effect on family and the community of work-related deaths.

Each year an average of up to 300 people die at work, while an estimated 2000 people will die from industrial diseases caused by exposure at work.