Workplace fatalities have increased for a second year running according to data released this week. In a year that saw the Morrison Government reject including industrial manslaughter in model OHS laws, 194 workers lost their lives due to injuries at work.

Data from a report released by Safe Work Australia this week on workplace injuries and fatalities also shows that 96 per cent of worker fatalities were male. 41 per cent of deaths followed injuries caused by vehicle collisions.

The increase in fatalities for the past two years has reversed the trend of the preceding ten years, which saw a steady reduction in workplace fatalities.

The union movement urges the Morrison Government to stop idly standing by while workers put their lives at risk in the workplace by improving workplace health and safety laws and introducing an industrial manslaughter offence.

Quotes attributable to ACTU Assistant Secretary Liam O’Brien:

“It is appalling that workplace fatalities have gone up two years in a row. The Morrison Government has stood by and watched, instead of working with the states to include industrial manslaughter in model OHS laws.

“To go backwards in the standards of workplace health and safety over the last couple of years, instead of continuing a trend of a reduction in deaths, is deeply concerning. The Morrison Government needs to take workers’ safety seriously.

“Every worker deserves to go to work in a safe environment and go home healthy at the end of the day. No worker should have to be fearful of losing their life when they leave for work. Bosses who cut corners that kill workers should face serious penalties and we must introduce industrial manslaughter laws”