UnionsWA has today commented on the release of work fatality figures in WA that show these are the highest for seven years just as massive cuts are affecting WorkSafe.
Meredith Hammat, Secretary UnionsWA said:
“These are the worst fatality figures for seven years.
“The best way to honour the lives of the twenty-two West Australians who died at work over the past year is to commit ourselves to preventing, as far as possible, any further fatalities.
“It beggars belief that Minister Mischin thinks that a cut of 10% in the number of WorkSafe inspectors will not be a factor in the years ahead.
“The Barnett Government record on work health and safety reform is pathetic.
“Eight years after commitments to strengthen occupation health and safety laws in WA and there has been no substantial action.
“In WA penalties for breaches to health and safety laws are grossly inadequate.
“There have been no steps taken to protect work safety whistle-blowers.
“Now, with cuts to WorkSafe inspectors, there will be fewer investigations and less prevention.”
Data on work fatalities were released by Minister Mischin in response to a questions in Parliament by the Hon. Kate Doust MLC and are available here.