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Workplace fatalities and injuries on agenda of new advisory group

A group representing injured workers and family members affected by workplace fatalities met for the first time this week in a move which ensures they have a stronger voice in shaping NSW workplace policy and support services for the future.

SafeWork NSW’s Executive Director of Community Engagement, Andrew Gavrielatos, said SafeWork NSW’s Family and Injured Worker Support Group would allow affected persons speak to Government about what is and what is not working for those in similar circumstances, in a safe, secure and supportive forum.

“This group will advise the workplace regulator on the type of support and services required by those affected by workplace incidents, as well as advocate for increased workplace safety across all industries,” Mr Gavrielatos said.

“The inaugural meeting set the priorities of the Group for the next 12 months and ensure their work agenda will align with the group’s terms of reference, as well as manage the expectations and goals of the individual members.

“We have a good cross-section representation across industries and the community involved in this process, including Mark Ellis, who lost his right leg above the knee after an incident where he was run over by a forklift. We also have family members who lost loved ones in the 2018 Norse Skog incident, which just recently resulted in a recent $1 million prosecution.

“I admire the resolve of every single member of this group and appreciate the efforts they are making to improve our systems in order to help people,” Mr Gavrielatos said.

The group will be headed up by Ambassador, Darren Flanagan, who is known for his critical role in assisting with the rescue mission of two miners trapped more than 900 metres underground during the 2006 Beaconsfield Goldmine collapse.

The group has 13 members and is initially established as a pilot that will run for 12 months, to be followed by a program evaluation to assess the effectiveness of the group prepare for the future.

For more information, visit the Family and injured workers support group on SafeWork NSW's website.

Last updated: 19 November 2020
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