WorkSafe calls for public submissions for WA farm deaths inquiry
WorkSafe is calling for public submissions for its landmark enquiry into the “unacceptable” number of deaths on WA farms and in the wider agricultural sector.
The enquiry, which will put the microscope on WA’s farm safety culture, was announced in June after a 24-year-old man became the 12th person to die while working in the sector in as many months.
WorkSafe commissioner Darren Kavanagh used his new powers under the revised Work Health and Safety Act to launch the inquiry, which is being led by independent inquirer Pam Scott.
In addition to the call for written submissions, Ms Scott will hold community consultation in person at venues across WA.
Ms Scott, who was appointed in August, will also travel to towns throughout the State to consult directly with industry stakeholders.
Locations and dates for the meetings will be advertised in coming weeks.
Announcing the terms of reference for the inquiry in late August, Mr Kavanagh bemoaned the track record of workplace deaths in the State’s $80 billion agricultural industry.
He said the inquiry would “consider the culture” of an industry that “seems to accept fatal incidents at significantly higher rates than any other”, adding that “farm production appears to be put before the safety of families and workers”.
The inquiry will analyse deaths and serious injuries in the sector, examine the role and powers of work health and safety inspectors, and recommend strategies and targets to reduce or eliminate deaths and serious injuries.
It is anticipated the inquiry will be completed and a report written by the end of the year.
Submissions can be made until Friday, September 30, via firstname.lastname@example.org.
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