Media Releases

SafeWork SA needs more inspection funding to prevent incident

August 17, 2022

In the same week, two horrific South Australian workplace incidents have come to light, because of SafeWork SA prosecutions (see below).

Employers that fail to act on making workplaces safer should rightly face prosecution, but more must be done to ensure that hazards can be identified and safety issues addressed before an injury occurs.

Unions are confident that the state government's review of SafeWork SA will identify that the safety regulator is under equipped to be able to police South Australia's workplaces, and that increased resourcing is needed.

We're calling for 3 things:

  • More funding to SafeWork SA to allow for increased surveillance and regulatory oversight of workplaces.
  • The forthcoming review of SafeWork SA to commence, and
  • The State Government to bring forward the introduction of Industrial Manslaughter legislation.

"When bosses cut corners on safety, they're gambling that the cost of doing the right thing is higher than if something goes wrong. For some employers, this gamble has been too tempting, the penalties aren't big enough, and there's not enough 'cops on the beat'."

"It's simple, if you kill a worker, you should go to jail. The government should introduce legislation to hold bad bosses accountable as soon as they can."

"A worker shouldn't have to suffer a life-changing injury or worse, in order for their workplace to get safer."

"SafeWork SA inspectors are stretched so thin that they can't investigate everything they need to, South Aussie workers need to know that when they report something unsafe, it'll get looked at, their lives depend on it."

"You don't have to wait for your boss or SafeWork SA to intervene to make your workplace safer, you can get together with your workmates and elect a Health and Safety Rep with special powers to act right now."