Rise in WA workplace fatalities blamed on WorkSafe budget cuts

A spike in work-related fatalities in Western Australia has been blamed on reduced funding to the activities of WorkSafe.

The government plans to cut $ 4.1 million out of WorkSafe budget over a period of four years.  Inspector numbers have also gone down from 103 to 93.

The number of workplace fatalities in Western Australia has more than doubled in the last five years. In the 2014-15 period, twenty-two people were killed in work-related incidents.

A Government breakdown of 2014-15 workplace fatalities by industry shows the transport, postal and warehousing industry has recorded 7 fatalities, mining, 3 and agriculture, forestry and fishing industries 3. Other industries that have recorded fatalities in 2014-15 include construction (3), other services (3), manufacturing (2) and electricity, gas, water and waste services (1).

A total of 17 positions have been cut from the watchdog according to Shadow commerce minister Kate Doust.

“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.

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