Response to Work safety review

UnionsACT has today responded to the release of the Independent review into the ACT’s work safety compliance infrastructure, policies and procedures.

The review confirms UnionsACT’s position that the amalgamation of Worksafe into Access Canberra was to the detriment of workers’ safety.

The review further confirms UnionsACT’s view that Worksafe should be restructured into an independent statutory authority that puts compliance with work safety laws, and keeping workers safe, as its primary goal.

Finally, the review confirms UnionsACT’s strong concerns regarding interference by Access Canberra into the operations and activities of Worksafe inspectors and the Work Safety Commissioner, including through inappropriate application of policies and frameworks.

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

“This review exposes and disproves claims by the senior leadership of Access Canberra that there was ‘nothing to see’ when it came to work safety regulation in the ACT.

“The head of Access Canberra and his executive team must take responsibility for the botched work safety regulation, confusion and failure to prevent injuries. It would be appropriate for the Minister for Regulatory Services to review the failure of leadership and administration that the review has revealed.

“UnionsACT is still considering the detail of the review, but the recommendation to establish Worksafe as an independent regulatory authority is essential to ensure work safety laws are properly enforced in Canberra.

“The ACT is Australia’s second most dangerous place to work, with more than 3500 serious injuries every year.”