Workers’ Compensation legislation welcome but further reform needed to improve workers’ safety

Greens spokesperson for Industrial Relations and Worker Safety Hon Alison Xamon MLC has today welcomed the passing of updated workers’ compensation legislation, but says more must be done to eliminate workplace deaths.

Ms Xamon said while she was pleased to see increases in financial support for the families of WA workers killed on the job, a long overdue reform, a suite of further measures were still needed to improve safety at work, including industrial manslaughter laws.

“The sudden death of a loved one is absolutely devastating and changes the course of many lives,” Ms Xamon said.

“Losing a family member to a fatal accident in the workplace adds to the complexity of the grieving process so it is therefore so important that we do all we can to reduce families’ burden so far as possible.

“It is for this reason that well-functioning workers’ compensation laws are essential – but it is equally important that we work towards eliminating workplace injuries and fatalities altogether.”

Ms Xamon said her industrial manslaughter bill, which is currently before the Parliament awaiting debate, would make senior managers personally responsible if they made a decision, which knowingly created an unsafe workplace, and that decision led to a death.

She said by placing the onus on companies and senior officers, workers’ safety could be improved.

“Workplace laws should be fair and protect all workers from unjust treatment and unsafe conditions,” Ms Xamon said.