Queensland Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations Lawrence Springborg
Over-Regulated And Unsafe
Victor P Taffa
Queensland workplaces were the most dangerous and over-regulated in the nation.
Queensland Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations Lawrence Springborg said the Productivity Commission’s draft report Performance Benchmarking of Australian Business Regulation: Occupational Health & Safety* was a damning indictment of Bligh Labor maladministration.
“Queensland workplaces are the nation’s most dangerous with the highest death rate and seriously high injury rates.” Mr. Springborg said.
“The Productivity Commission’s report should be ringing loud alarms through government, business and union headquarters. Not only are our workplaces dangerous, they’re over-regulated and inflexible …putting worker’ safety at risk and sapping productivity.”
Mr. Springborg said Bligh Labor over-regulation had clearly failed to reduce deaths and serious workplace injuries in Queensland.
- Queensland workplace deaths in 2007/08 were 79, or 4.4 deaths per 100,000 employed. Next worst state in actual deaths was Victoria with 44, or 1.8 per 100,000. National average was 2.4 per 100,000 employed. (Page 46)
- Serious injuries in Queensland per 1,000 employees were 18.2 compared with the national average of 13.5 per 1,000 employees (Page 51).
Across most industries, serious claim rates were higher in Queensland than the national average. For example, Queensland recorded the highest serious claim rate in manufacturing 34 claims per 1,000 workers in 2007-08 compared with a national average of 24 claims per 1,000 workers. Queensland also recorded the highest serious claim rates in transport and storage, and construction.
“The Bligh Government needs to act on the Productivity Commission’s findings and also redress the mounting financial problems in Workcover which ran a $500 Million loss in 2008/09 after posting a $200 Million loss in 2007/08.
“Queensland workers deserve better.” Mr Springborg said.
“Labor generates heaps of red tape, but fails to reduce high death and injury rates.”
“It seems far more interested in grabbing revenue from fines than injury prevention. For example, Bligh government workplace infringement notices provide no guidance on how to improve practices that may have resulted in the notice.”
Further to workplace safety in Queensland has been the ‘cancer cluster’ that was discovered in an Australia Post mail centre which has been closed after a number of female workers were diagnosed with breast cancer within a short period of time.