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Supporting Families Through Workplace Fatalities

28 April 2021

Families who have been forever impacted by serious workplace injuries and deaths will have more ongoing help in dealing with their trauma.

Speaking today at Victorian Trades Hall to commemorate International Workers Memorial Day, Minister for Workplace Safety Ingrid Stitt acknowledged the suffering experienced by families and reiterated the Andrews Labor Government’s promise to always stand by those affected.

Minister Stitt also announced an increase in support delivered by WorkSafe Victoria’s Family Liaison Officers and Family Support Specialists in the first weeks following a workplace death.

The increasing support is part of reforms WorkSafe is implementing to recognise the impact workplace trauma can have on the families of victims.

This includes appointing external Bereavement Support Workers, who will work with WorkSafe and families to ensure ongoing support is available, particularly ahead of important milestones relating to workplace deaths.

Bereavement support services will also be offered to all affected family members, using the broader definition of a family member in the Victim Charter (2006), which includes any person who can reasonably be considered a family member and not just dependants.

These reforms follow the Labor Government’s $10 million Families and Injured Workers System Reform and Implementation Package to increase support for families of people who are killed or injured in workplace incidents.

This has already seen the successful recruitment of more Family Liaison Officers and Family Support Specialists and dedicated resources, including a new website for families and updated protocols for coordinating with Victoria Police to ensure families are notified of deaths quickly and receive support as soon as possible.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Workplace Safety Ingrid Stitt

“We’ll always prioritise the safety of workers – but when the worst happens, it’s essential that timely support is given to families grieving the loss of a loved one. That’s why we’re investing in this practical and valuable support.”

“We will continue to support the families of people seriously injured or killed at work – they deserve nothing less.”

Quote attributable to Parliamentary Secretary for Workplace Safety Bronwyn Halfpenny

Workers, and their families, are entitled to go to work and know that they will come home safe at the end of the day. We’ll always stand up for this right and will work to make sure workplaces are safer than ever.”

Quote attributable to Victorian Trades Hall Secretary Luke Hilakari

“Today we honour and pay our respects to workers across Victoria killed simply while doing their job. The importance of safe workplaces have never been more stark and clear, and we acknowledge the tireless work of Health and Safety Reps across Victoria, for doing exactly that – keeping workers and workplaces safe.”

Reviewed 28 April 2021

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