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Parliamentary Questions

Question On Notice No. 42 asked in the Legislative Council on 13 June 2017 by Hon Alison Xamon

Question Directed to the: Minister for Regional Development representing the Minister for Commerce and Industrial Relations
Minister responding: Hon W.J. Johnston
Parliament: 40 Session: 1
Question


(1) I refer to WorkSafe's investigation and prosecution activities in the 2016-17 reporting period, and ask:

(a) how many work related fatalities have occurred on Western Australian work sites, by industry group;
(b) how many workplace fatalities are currently under investigation by WorkSafe;
(c) how many FTE inspectors does WorkSafe have allocated to the investigations outlined in (b);
(d) how many prosecutions have been undertaken by WorkSafe under the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 and the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 for the 2016-17 reporting period;
(e) of those prosecutions outlined under (d), how many were successful and how many unsuccessful; and
(f) how many prosecutions are pending, and what are the offence dates for those?
(2) I refer to WorkSafe's 2016-17 reporting activities in relation to the Coroner's Court, and ask:
(a) what was the average report time for reports to the Coroner's Court;
(b) how many reports to the Coroner's Court took longer than the average report time;
(c) on a case-by-case basis, what were the reasons for the extended duration of the cases outlined in (b);
(d) what was the longest report time for a report to the Coroner's Court;
(e) how many reports from WorkSafe is the coroner waiting for and what are they; and
(f) what steps have been put in place to expedite the finalisation of the reports and provision to the coroner?
(3) I refer to WorkSafe for the reporting period 2016-17, and ask:
(a) how many notices of work injuries were made to WorkSafe, and what was the injury type;
(b) were any failures to report discovered by WorkSafe;
(c) if yes to (b), did any of the failures lead to prosecution; and
(d) if yes to (c), what were the outcomes of the prosecutions?
Answered on 15 August 2017

The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety advises:

(1)

(a) There were 11 confirmed work-related traumatic injury fatalities in 2016-17. The fatalities occurred in the following industry divisions: five in the Construction industry; two in the Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services industry; two in the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing industry; one in the Accommodation and Food Services industry; and one in the Mining industry.

(b) As at the end of the 2016-17 reporting period WorkSafe is investigating 16 work-related traumatic injury fatalities.

(c) Excluding associated directors and team managers there are 17 inspectors currently involved in the investigations outlined in (b), above.

(d) 12 prosecution notices containing 40 charges were signed by WorkSafe during the reporting period.

(e) Once prosecution notices are signed they enter into the judicial process, which WorkSafe has no control over. Of the 12 prosecutions listed at (d), eight have been finalised. All eight were successful, with 34 charges proven and one charge dismissed. No prosecutions were unsuccessful. WorkSafe obtained 13 convictions against 53 charges during the 2016-17 reporting period.

(f) Four prosecutions, containing five charges, commenced in the reporting period are still in the judicial system, and therefore pending. The offence dates for those prosecutions are 17 February 2014, 5 August 2014, 13 April 2015 and 11 September 2015.

(2) Neither the Coroners Act 1996 nor the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 provide for WorkSafe to report to the Coroner. As a courtesy, WorkSafe writes to the Coroner to advise of the completion of each matter, including the completion of any legal proceedings.

(a)-(f) Not applicable.

(3)

(a) 1,946. The WorkSafe Information System Environment is not required to, does not have the facility to, separate injury reports by type. WorkSafe uses WorkCover WA’s comprehensive workers’ compensation claims data to access information such as injury type.

(b) Yes.

(c) No.

(d) Not applicable.