The ACTU is urging the Royal Commission into the Home Insulation Program to focus on what can be done to increase safety for workers.

ACTU Assistant Secretary Michael Borowick said the Royal Commission presented an opportunity to toughen workplace safety laws to help reduce the number of unnecessary injuries and fatalities in the workplace.

“The sole focus of this Royal Commission must be to improve safety for Australian workers,” Mr Borowick said.

“The community has no appetite for a costly political witch hunt at the expense of constructive outcomes on safety for workers.

“The ACTU calls on the Royal Commission to recommend the introduction of Industrial Manslaughter legislation, tougher penalties for employers that breach existing legislation and increased resources for regulators.

“Industrial Manslaughter laws have the potential to change community attitudes around criminally reckless negligence at work and ultimately reduce workplace deaths.

“There must also be tougher penalties for employers that breach legislation and put the safety of their workforce at risk.

“This must also be accompanied by an increase in resources for regulators to undertake their role in ensuring stringent safety standards are met.

“Every Australian should be able to go to work in the knowledge that they’ll return home safely that night.

“This Royal Commission presents an opportunity for meaningful reform in a critical area and this opportunity must not be wasted.”