Work fa­tal­i­ties rise

Pilbara News - - News - Daniel Emer­son

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.

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