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News Media Releases UnionsWA slams paltry fines for negligent company over workplace death
UnionsWA slams paltry fines for negligent company over workplace death
Friday, 13 January 2012 14:40

Unions have lambasted WA’s workplace safety laws after the Supreme Court today reduced the fines for a company and its directors who were found negligent in the workplace death of a 22 year old worker.

Luke Murrie was killed when a section of crane fell on him in 2007. Today a Supreme Court judge dismissed appeals against the convictions but ruled that the fines should be reduced.

WA unions have issued a call for the State Government to immediately sign up to new national workplace safety laws that include increasing the maximum penalty for negligent employers who are responsible for a workplace death.

UnionsWA Secretary Simone McGurk said the thoughts of the union movement were with Luke Murrie's family. “On top of losing their son, the Murries have had to endure four years of on-going pain as the legal case proceeded. While we’re pleased that the judge upheld the convictions, the penalties are completely inadequate and the Murrie family should not have had to fight this hard to secure justice for their son’s death.”

Despite the anguish of dealing with their son’s death, the Murrie family have been active in campaigning for strong work safety laws. “They have been contributors at our International Day for Dead and Injured Workers, and have done whatever they can to help ensure other families are not suffering the way they have,” Simone McGurk said.

UnionsWA has repeated its calls for the State Government to immediately adopt the new, national harmonised occupational health and safety laws.

“The penalties for negligent employers must be increased not reduced. They need to be high enough to deter employers from taking shortcuts and risking the safety of their employees.”

“WA workers and their families deserve the highest possible level of workplace protection to ensure that every worker returns home at the end of the day. Anything less than this is inadequate.”

“WA unions demand Simon O’Brien stops making excuses and that the Liberal-National Government signs up to the national occupational health and safety laws in their entirety.”

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