UnionsWA today commented on the release by WorkSafe WA of workers’ compensation data showing a continuing rise in very serious work injuries in WA.
Meredith Hammat, Secretary UnionsWA said:
“The number and rate of very serious work injuries, those resulting in more than 60 working days lost, is now higher in WA than at any time in the past five years.
“For 2011-12 WorkSafe WA reports that 5,350 working people suffered such very severe injuries.
“This is a cost to industry through workers’ compensation, but more importantly people are often left with life-long disability and a loss of livelihood.
“Work fatalities average one death every 21 days, so some recent fall in that rate and the overall injury rate is welcome.
“But clearly more needs to be done, by governments, employers and everyone in WA workplaces.
“However the WA Government has refused to sign-up to national health and safety to make the system clearer and simpler for everyone.
“It has insisted on keeping weaker penalties for employers who fail to maintain safe workplace, has poorer protections for whistle-blowers and wants to make it harder to prosecute breaches of work safety laws.
“In 2012 the Barnett Government consulted around its proposed weaker safety laws.
“There has been no outcome from those consultations, no policy announcement, no legislation.
“With that record, and in the face of this latest crisis of serious work injuries, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the Barnett Government simply doesn’t rate work safety as a priority. “
‘Work Related Lost Time Injuries and Diseases in WA 2011-12 preliminary data’ is available at: