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Work fatality rate rising in WA

Work fatality rates are on the rise in Western Australia, according to the latest Safe Work Australia data.

The data, which is based on work fatality rates per 100,000 workers over thirteen years to 2015, show the fatality rate in Western Australia worsened from 1.6 in 2014 to 2.6 in 2015.

“WA is the only state or territory in Australia where the work fatality rate actually worsened in 2015 compared with 2014,” UnionsWA secretary Meredith Hammat said.

“Just as worrying is that the long-term trend for work fatalities in WA is not improving.

“SafeWork Australia found that WA’s average work fatality rate over the period 2003 to 2015 was 2.6 fatalities per 100,000 workers.

“In 2015 the work fatality rate in WA was found to be exactly the same at this thirteen-year average, at 2.6.

“Any fatality, at work or otherwise, is a tragic loss for family, friends, co-workers and communities.”

Ms Hammat said everyone has a role in preventing work fatalities, including workers, unions, employers and government.

“There have been funding cuts to WorkSafe, including a cut in funds for WorkSafe Inspectors,” she said.

“WA has among the weakest penalties for workplaces that break work health and safety laws.

“Law reforms needed to address WA poor record have been tied up in endless consultation without decisions by government.

“There is an urgent need to ensure that the WA Government does more to prevent work fatalities.”


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