Safety alert follows report into cyclone deaths

SAFETY authorities in Western Australia have issued further recommendations to minimise hazards from cyclones impacting workplaces in the State’s north.

The move follows completion of a confidential report into two cyclone-related deaths late last year which is now being reviewed by the State Solicitors Office.

WorkSafe WA Commissioner Nina Lyhne said the Offiice will consider the findings of the investigation and provide legal advice with respect to potential prosecution action.

“The contents of the WorkSafe report will not be made publicly available because there may be a risk of prejudicing any potential legal proceedings. If this matter does go to court, details will be aired in public in the courts,” Lyhne said.

“Once any legal proceedings have been completed, the report will be forwarded to the State Coroner. The Coroner may then decide to conduct an inquest, in which case the WorkSafe report would form part of that inquest.

“In the meantime, we have decided to release a further safety bulletin to raise some issues that came to light during the investigation, with a view to preventing similar incidents in the future.”

The latest alert is an update of the April safety bulletin, and takes into consideration issues raised during the course of the investigation into the deaths.

The bulletin Safety and Health Alert 17/07 Tropical cyclones available from recommends that anyone considering construction projects in a cyclone-prone area should check which wind region the site falls into.

According to the bulletin, information should be sought on the construction standards that must be observed to ensure that buildings on worksites in cyclone-sensitive regions are adequately secured. It is also important that emergency procedures and plans are in place in regions that may be affected by cyclones.

The bulletin says workers must be given the appropriate information on safety procedures and be appropriately trained to carry them out.

Late last year the Government issued a safety and health alert on emergency preparation for cyclones following completion of the WorkSafe report on the deaths of the two workers during Cyclone George.

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