Family and Injured Worker Support Group holds first meeting

Wednesday, 25 November, 2020

Family and Injured Worker Support Group holds first meeting

The SafeWork NSWFamily and Injured Worker Support Group’ has held its inaugural meeting. The group represents injured workers and family members affected by workplace fatalities, and is intended to give group members a stronger voice in shaping the state’s workplace policy and support services. It is intended as a forum to allow affected persons to speak to government about what is and what is not working for those in similar circumstances, in a safe, secure and supportive forum.

SafeWork NSW Executive Director of Community Engagement Andrew Gavrielatos said the group’s inaugural meeting set the priorities for the next 12 months and ensured the work agenda aligns with the group’s terms of reference, to manage the expectations and goals of the individual members. “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,” Gavrielatos said.

The group will be headed up by Ambassador Darren Flanagan, known for his role in assisting with the rescue of two miners trapped underground during the 2006 Beaconsfield Goldmine collapse. The group has 13 members and was initially established as a pilot that will run for 12 months, then followed by a program evaluation to assess the effectiveness of the group. The group will advise the workplace regulator on the type of support and services required by those affected by workplace incidents. It will also advocate for increased workplace safety across all industries.

“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,” Gavrielatos said. “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.”

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