Work fatality must lead to health and safety change - Unions WA

Work fatality must bring health and safety change

Today, an International Workers’ Memorial Day commemoration in Perth heard from Tony and Robyn Hampton. Their son, Jarrod, was the victim of a work fatality while working as a diver for Paspaley Pearls out of Broome. UnionsWA has today called on the WA Government to fast-track a Safety Code of Practice for all Occupational Divers and to strengthen occupational health and safety laws to ensure harsher penalties for safety offences. Comment is also provided on the sad news overnight of a work fatality at a Collie mine.

Meredith Hammat, Secretary, UnionsWA said:

“Everyone deserves to come home from work safely.

“The news overnight of a work fatality at a Collie mine is tragic.

“On behalf of unions I extend to the family, co-workers and community of Collie sincere condolences.

“Miners do a dangerous job and the investigations that must now follow should help make it safer.

“The proceedings today at Solidarity Park heard the sad story of the death of young Jarrod Hampton, highlighting the urgent need for a Safety Code of Practice covering all occupational divers, backed up with stronger penalties under law.

“International Workers’ Memorial Day is a solemn occasion when we remember all those who did not return home safety to their families.

“Remembrance is not enough, we need to prevent work fatalities.

“Diving is a dangerous job.

“However, as the coronial inquiries into Jarred’s death revealed, this job was made more dangerous by poor practices.

“The right equipment, practices and training all play a part in prevention.

“So too do penalties.

“A Safety Code of Practice needs to provide strong guidance on safety, but we also needed are higher penalties and stronger safety laws in order to keep workplaces safe. 

“Large corporations in particular can afford to ignore light penalties.

“In the case of Jarred Hampton, Paspaley Pearls were found to have breached current laws and were fined just $60,000.”

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