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Support extended for families affected by fatalities

A united group of nine industry bodies have come together to tell those working in the construction industry to treat the current COVID-19 situation with the highest importance and adhere to all recommended safety procedures.

Victorian families who have been affected by serious workplace injuries and deaths will have more ongoing help in dealing with their trauma.

Workplace Safety Minister Ingrid Stitt announced an increase in support delivered by WorkSafe Victoria’s Family Liaison Officers and Family Support Specialists in the first weeks following a workplace death.

It is part of reforms WorkSafe is implementing to recognise the impact workplace trauma can have on the families of victims.

This includes appointing external Bereavement Support Workers, who will work with WorkSafe and families to ensure ongoing support is available, particularly ahead of important milestones relating to workplace deaths.

Bereavement support services will also be offered to all affected family members, using the broader definition of a family member in the Victim Charter (2006), which includes any person who can reasonably be considered a family member and not just dependants.

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“We’ll always prioritise the safety of workers – but when the worst happens, it’s essential that timely support is given to families grieving the loss of a loved one. That’s why we’re investing in this practical and valuable support,” Stitt said.

“We will continue to support the families of people seriously injured or killed at work – they deserve nothing less.”

The reforms follow the Victorian Government’s $10 million Families and Injured Workers System Reform and Implementation Package.

Parliamentary Secretary for Workplace Safety Bronwyn Halfpenny said workers and their families are entitled to go to work and know that they will come home safe at the end of the day.

“We’ll always stand up for this right and will work to make sure workplaces are safer than ever,” Halfpenny said.

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