The McGowan Labor Government will invest $12.9 million in new initiatives, to enhance workplace health and safety.
An additional 24 full time equivalent staff, including 21 additional inspectors, will be employed by WorkSafe. This will bring the total number of inspectors to 120 to conduct more safety inspections, enforce workplace safety and provide more education and awareness support.
The significant boost in safety inspectors will bring Western Australia in line with New South Wales and Queensland and ensures that a ratio of 1.0 inspector FTE per 10,000 employees is met.
These inspectors will investigate fatal and serious incidents, and an additional 16 vehicles will be added to the fleet, to lift the number of workplace inspections. There will also be inspectors with expertise in industrial and regional cases and those inspecting service industries and specialists.
A new worker safety campaign called Better Worker Safety, which aims to put safety at front of mind and improve workplace safety and health outcomes in Western Australia, will also be developed as part of the McGowan Government’s increased workplace safety initiatives.
To strengthen Western Australia’s workplace safety laws, the McGowan Government will introduce a new Work Health and Safety Bill that will modernise workplace safety laws, better protect workers and hold those responsible for any workplace deaths.
One of the main features of the legislation is the introduction of two new offences of industrial manslaughter:
- Industrial manslaughter class one: the most serious offence, this includes a maximum penalty of 20 years’ imprisonment for an individual conducting or undertaking a business.
- Industrial manslaughter class two: this includes a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment for negligent behaviour.
This is a result of significant public concern and from recommendations of two recent Federal reviews – the Boland review and the recent Senate Standing Committee on Education and Employment report.
The new offences will also carry a fine of up to $10 million for a body corporate.
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