In 2018, the Australian Senate conducted an inquiry into the prevention, investigation and prosecution of industrial deaths in Australia, which highlighted the devastating personal, social and economic impacts on bereaved families.
In response, Safe Work Australia Members made a commitment to work collaboratively to improve support for these families. The National Principles, developed to support families following an industrial death, aim to guide best practice support for bereaved families.
The Principles have been informed by in-depth consultation with bereaved families and other stakeholders including
jurisdictional WHS regulators and workers’ compensation authorities
emergency services, health, and criminal justice sector organisations, and
worker and employer representatives which informed the Principles.
More information is available in the Jurisdictional arrangements for providing support to families affected by an industrial death - Comparative analysis report.
Commonwealth, and state and territory governments ultimately have the role of providing advice, education, compliance, and enforcement of WHS and will need to consider their own tailored approaches in response to the principles, based on local needs.
Differences between jurisdictions in geography, workforce, division of responsibilities between government agencies, and legislation will necessitate different and scalable solutions.