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Sole work safety responsibility for Commissioner is welcome improvement

UnionsACT has today welcomed the announcement that the Work Safety Commissioner will be solely focused on workplace health and safety.

Under new administrative arrangements, the Commissioner will no longer be responsible for other statutory offices. This will enable the Commissioner to provide greater focus and attention to the important issue of worker safety.

Despite some workplace safety improvements in recent years, over 3000 working people in Canberra experience a significant injury at work each year. The ACT construction industry remains the most dangerous in Australia. And workers aged under 25 have twice the rate of injury as the rest of the workforce.

The following quotes are attributable to Alex White, secretary of UnionsACT:

“This is a positive step by the ACT Government and the Minister, which unions hope will see real improvements to workplace safety.

“A stand-alone Work Safety Commissioner, without additional statutory responsibilities, means that Mr Jones will have no other priorities than ensuring that workers are safe.

“Every worker has a right to go to work and get home safely, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with the Commissioner, and with the Minister.

“Improving safety for young workers, migrant workers, and construction workers, and taking strong action to prevent occupation violence against teachers and nurses remains major priorities for the union movement.

“Unions will continue to call for the complete separation of WorkSafe ACT from Access Canberra.”

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