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    Treasurer, Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
    The Honourable Curtis Pitt

    Construction site electrocution inquiry highlights need to improve safety

    Treasurer, Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
    The Honourable Curtis Pitt

    Wednesday, August 12, 2015

    Construction site electrocution inquiry highlights need to improve safety

    The State Government will consider all recommendations handed down by Coroner David O’Connell yesterday following his inquiry into the death of 20 year old Jason Garrels on a housing construction site in Clermont in 2012.

    “Jason’s tragic death at such a young age was entirely preventable,” Treasurer and Minister for Industrial Relations Curtis Pitt said.

    “Following on from Jason’s death our electrical safety inspectors visited the construction site five times between August 2012 and June 2013 to inspect the electrical installations and electrical work.

    “As a result of the inspections more than 40 rectification notices were issued and following the inquest, inspectors again visited the now completed Clermont Apartment Complex to inspect all electrical installations.

    “We’ve since prosecuted two companies, Daytona Trading Pty Ltd and Cold Spark Pty Ltd and suspended the Direct of Cold Spark Pty Ltd’s electrical contractor licence.”

    The State Government has now referred all of Coroner O’Connell’s recommendations to a specialist group within the Office of Industrial Relations, which is considering how to best respond to the Coroner’s findings.

    “This group will recommend the appropriate response and actions needed to ensure young Queensland workers can go to work knowing they are safe,” he said.

    “Their parents, family and friends need to be confident that their kids will come home to them at the end of each working day.”

    Mr Pitt said that the Government’s responses to the coronial recommendations would be published to the Coroners Court website in due course.

    “This government continues to deliver on the commitments we made to improve electrical safety in Queensland,” he said.

    “Earlier this year we held a forum for families of people who have lost their lives at work.

    “We wanted to hear from those who have suffered the loss of a loved one to a workplace incident and give victims’ families a voice.

    “Since we held the forum, we have worked closely with several of the families, including Jason’s parents, Michael and Lee Garrels, and relatives of Cairns electrician Dale Kennedy.

    “Shortly we will finalise how this ongoing consultative and support program will be permanently established in government.”

    Mr Pitt said the Palaszczuk Government had also introduced legislation to re-establish the Commissioner for Electrical Safety.

    “We have also launched a public safety campaign, ’The risk is real. One safety switch may not be enough’.

    “In addition to this, we’re delivering on our election commitment to recreate a stand-alone Electrical Safety Office within my portfolio.

    “This Government has wound back the changes made by the former LNP government to ensure that we receive expert and independent advice on electrical safety matters in this state – and this is what Queenslanders expect.”

    For more information, visit https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/electricalsafety/home

    Media contact: Martin Philip 0427 919 548