UnionsWA today criticised the Barnett Government for holding yet another consultation process over work health and safety law reform.
Meredith Hammat, Secretary UnionsWA said:
“The process to strengthen health and safety laws began over six years ago in 2008, since then more than 200 West Australians have died through work.
“Yesterday the Barnett Government announced yet another consultation process when what we need are stronger penalties and better protections for whistle-blowers.
“Yesterday a worker at the gain handler corporation CBH died at work, the second such death in the past year.
“Yesterday a Forstecue Metals Pilbara mining contractor pleaded guilty to a work-death charge.
“Only two weeks ago there was another work death prosecution against Paspaley Pearls – a $100 million a year business.
“The maximum penalty for work deaths in WA is a pathetic $200,000, max.
“These huge corporations and the Barnett Government constantly try to lock-out rather than protect whistle-blowers.
“We have suffered through years of indecision while work fatalities are rising in WA but falling elsewhere in Australia.
“The very latest 2013 data shows that Australia-wide work-related fatalities have fallen over the past eleven years but they are now on the rise in WA for the first time since 2006.
‘Work-Related Traumatic Injury Fatalities Australian 2013’, SafeWork Australia, July 2014’. Note coronial and other investigations are needed to determine the nature and cause of fatalities and whether or not they are work-related, making this the most recent and reliable source of such information. The report is available here.
The WorkSafe WA statement re consultation is available here.