Work fatalities rise
WA has recorded its highest number of workplace fatalities since 2007-08, which Labor has tied to a $4.1 million, 10-inspector cut to the activities of WorkSafe.
Twenty-two people died on the job in 2014-15, more than double the nine workplace deaths five years ago. In the intervening period, total yearly deaths have been 21, 17, 19 and 17.
A Government breakdown of 2014-15 deaths by industry lists seven fatalities in transport, postal and warehousing, three in mining, three in agriculture, forestry and fishing, three in construction, three in other services, two in manufacturing and one in electricity, gas, water and waste services.
WorkSafe had $4.1 million taken out of its budget over four years in the May Budget. Inspector numbers fell from 103 to 93.
Shadow commerce minister Kate Doust said that, in all, 17 positions had been cut from the watchdog. “The reality is WorkSafe these days sadly is only being used to respond when incidents have already occurred rather than doing systemic or random investigations to make sure things are up to appropriate standard,” she said.
Commerce Minister Michael Mischin challenged Ms Doust to show an historical connection between the number of WorkSafe inspectors and workplace deaths.