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Underfunding WorkSafe Risks Lives

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Monday, 26 August 2019

Tags: Industrial Commission, Workers Rights, WorkSafe

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Building and Construction spokesperson

The Hodgman Government’s budget priorities are clearly affecting WorkSafe Tasmania’s ability to employ the necessary staff to safeguard workers’ health and safety.

Australia-wide, 83 workers died as a result of workplace safety failures last year. The under-resourcing of WorkSafe Tasmania is putting people’s health and lives at risk. 

An independent review from last December identified a 25% gap in WorkSafe's field inspection staff and inadequate resourcing to carry out inspections effectively. The report makes it clear they are unable to ensure compliance and enforcement of the law.

With 20 positions currently unfilled in Worksafe, there is the potential for workplace hazards to go unidentified and uncorrected.

Those positions should be filled, and funding provided for another six workplace inspectors, as a matter of urgency.

The safety of working people should not be taken for granted. It’s clear, however, the Liberals have not prioritised it, with successive Budget underspends.

Building and Construction Minister, Elise Archer, must step in immediately and ensure all vacant positions are filled, along with the independent review’s recommendation to fund an additional six field inspectors.

We cannot afford to scrimp on the critical jobs that help keep people safe at work in Tasmania.