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A plentiful supply of ‘safe work’ propaganda is pumped out to the Australian public each year.

It gives the impression that going to work is relatively ‘safe’ and that workers’ health and safety is a major concern to our caring governments. However, such beliefs belie the facts. Public policy on ‘safe work’ was contrived for the benefit of protecting business, but at the very great expense of workers’ lives. The scheme simulated to keep workers ‘safe’ officially sanctioned as the ‘safe work’ swindle!

Australian workplaces are far from safe, and going to work poses perilous risks to the health and safety of around 600,000 Australian workers every year. Contemplate the cumulative effect; in the last 10 years, millions of people have been forever harmed. Nonetheless, few Australians could be aware of our shameful workplace safety record, the risky reality of many workplaces, or the horrendous harm visited upon those fated to be victims. Even fewer would know that ‘no control’ is government policy in order to safeguard business. This very ‘top-secret’!

The principal problem is ‘truthiness.’ Trying to find the facts involves probing the limited information available, detangling the mostly true from the mostly false, tallying up the half-truths disclosed as legitimate statistics, and finally configuring in the mass of material deemed ‘never to be released.’ Most puzzle pieces now assembled, the terrifying truths can be revealed.

The sub-rosa signpost

The official intentions of the ‘safe work’ scam can be spotted in the government’s phoney promotions. Worksafe Victoria is an exemplar. In 2015, it flagged a new signpost in resuming its old Worksafe moniker (not WorkCover), the ‘safe’ publicizing a more positive image. Setting out to feign a fresh face for the same old agency, in February 2016 CEO Clare Amies assured that the heat was now back on business. So had it been ‘off’ business? Unlikely! This was not a slip up, but rather the classic ploy signaling pretence of a tougher approach!

Then Amies warned employers to beware: "Our inspectors are out there!” However, she neglected to say ‘inspectors out there’ means ‘informing and advising,’ and notably that Worksafe policy dictates almost no prosecutions and minuscule penalties.

She also failed to mention the menacing dangers of Victoria’s real work sites, the lives shattered and the families destroyed. Significantly, Amies’ assertions would provide no solace to the 26,286 Victorians who in 2015 were seriously injured (though there were 90,000 claims according the the Victorian Ombudsman in 2016), nor offer reassurance to those who lost their loved ones (31 Victorian families), or those denied compensation, or the many thousands slowly dying from work-related diseases.

The ‘safety for workers’ infomercials offer further insight. They're super slick, but offer no stats, no stories, no substantive data and no reference to the 24 Victorians killed this year. Currently screening on TV is a typical advert: “If your workers aren’t safe, neither are you!” Is this to frighten employers or manufactured to mislead?

Scrutiny of the ‘safe work’ scheme clearly confirms the latter. All Worksafe agencies have a singular commitment: ‘Keep business safe.’ As for the suggestion of punishment, the stated ‘prevention’ policy precludes penalizing offenders in more than 99.5 per cent of cases. Incongruously, ‘prevention’ is actually aimed at workers - those who are subjected to unsafe workplaces and punished by having their WorkCover claims refused. The subterfuge is styled to block and bar, foil and frustrate, delay and ultimately deny workers’ safety. The ‘work safe’ signposts are a smoke screen to disguise the sub-rosa truth!

The nasty news

If we check some of the construction industry’s truths, they are depressing:

  • Construction workers comprise the third most dangerous occupational group, with 182 construction workers killed at work between 2008/09 and 2012/13 (Safe Work Australia)
  • Safe Work Australia informs that on average, 12,600 construction workers make a Work Cover claim each year, but many do not claim, and others don’t qualify to claim
  • Some 190 construction workers commit suicide each year - one suicide every two days! (ABC)
  • Australia has the second highest mesothelioma death rate in the world, with 14 deaths a week resulting from exposure to asbestos
  • Between 2014 and 2021, mesothelioma deaths are expected to rise to 18,000 (Australian Government Institute of Health and Welfare)
  • According to SafeWork NSW, “over the past three years around 25,000 workers were injured on NSW construction sites because of unsafe work practices, twenty three were killed and more than 1,700 have been left permanently disabled.”

Where have all the people gone?

The news via the mainstream media is poor and often inaccurate. What it selects and what it rejects as ‘newsworthy’ is telling. On the confronting realities of workers’ deaths, injuries and disease, little is featured and the shattered lives of ‘real’ victims are veiled!

In 2015, 196 Australian workers died at work. To date, the total for 2016 is 157. An average of 728 workers die each year from asbestos disease, chiefly construction workers. Then add the silent suicide toll. But who would know? Take a crack at finding the correct statistics – Safe Work Australia states that on average there are 120,000 Work Cover claims a year (Australian Workers’ Compensation Statistics 2013-14), yet the Victorian Ombudsman states that in Victoria alone there are 90,000 claims a year. Confusing!

Try to find any of the horror stories of the seriously injured and permanently incapacitated – spinal injuries, brain dead or dismembered – or stories of the families of the deceased. No matter the efforts, or requests to regulators, your efforts will be for nought. All stories are buried. Nowhere disclosed publicly.

The states have different methods of recording. Some fatalities are recorded and others are not No suicides are counted. And only those who qualify to make serious injury claims and manage to have them accepted are ‘counted.’ Those listed are as claim statistics, not people. The real stories of the injured, struggling to survive financially, physically and emotionally, including those who end up dying, remain totally hidden.

Similarly, the incalculable number of workers repeatedly compelled to beg for compensation, forced over years to conciliation 20 or 30 times to fight for their legal right. Many never receive proper compensation, everyone closeted away into 'confidential' files. Conspicuous by their absence are the 65 per cent of workers not recorded anywhere. Excluded, they have been entirely eliminated. Thus, the tragedy of millions of real workers has been wiped out. So where have the people gone?

Light touch regulation

Although officials have largely suppressed the shocking realities of workers’ lives, the cause is identifiable. It is dubbed “the deregulation agenda,” and its objective is to protect business. Spun as ‘light touch’ regulation, it would be more accurate to say it’s ‘no regulation.’

Without shame, SafeWork NSW speaks for the so-called ‘regulators’ in its enforcement/prosecution policy: “Prosecutions through the courts are a last resort for us, and only carried out in the most serious cases.”

True to its word, to August this year it listed precisely 18 prosecutions!

So what do our ‘regulators’ do? In short, not much! Bureaucratic ‘regulatory business’ involves spending mega millions of dollars on advertising and creating media releases to fool workers and the public into thinking that workplace safety is satisfactory. Some time is assigned to what is branded business liaison on ‘prevention’ – visits to inform, seminars to ‘educate’ and gala events to confer awards. Yes ‘educating’ the already highly educated companies who understand the ‘no consequences’ rule. The ‘enforcement’ policy is “increasing awareness” and “encouraging employers to improve safety” (Worksafe Vic Annual Report 2015-16). In terms of action, Worksafe Victoria issued an astonishing 271 improvement notices for legal breaches, but no penalties apply.

By far however, officials devote most of their time to getting rid of difficult people, primarily those seriously injured who should legally be paid compensation. This requires ever more staff. Take Worksafe Vic, a self-proclaimed ‘business’ with two commercial arms: prevention and claims. With around 800 employees, it has recently employed another 60 staff.

On the claims side, there were evidently 90,000 claims in 2015/16, with Worksafe Vic managing to get 80 per cent of workers back to work within six months. However, its Annual Report omits to detail its trickery or how it dealt with the other 20 per cent of claims.

Thank goodness for the Ombudsman who detailed its “bad behaviour” (Investigation into Worksafe Oversight, September 2016). In 20 per cent of claims, outsourced to private insurance agents via contracts with Worksafe, the agents received financial rewards for coercing workers to return to work or terminating claims. Here’s one astounding email from an agent to a manager in relation to a 130-week termination: "Knock your socks off and terminate away!"

The Ombudsman explained precisely: “In effect, we found cases in which agents were working the system to delay and deny seriously injured workers the financial compensation to which they were entitled.”

Furthermore, this investigation uncovered that 75 per cent of the 130-week terminations by agents were overturned by the courts – to increase insurance profits.

The law of no liability

As with all things construction, the ‘safety system’ is shored up by the law of no liability. Worksafe WA’s record is noteworthy here. Last year it handed out 12,000 notices, yet none resulted in penalties. Most germane that these 12,000 examples expose business’ contempt in defiance of legal compliance. Their dogged determination to ignore the law is unsurprising - obviously they get it. The law of no liability assures their safety.

If we look at prosecutions as a ‘preventative’ stratagem, we find that less than 0.5 per cent of wrongdoers, including the serial reprobates in the ranks, are ever prosecuted.

A review of prosecutions across the various states reveals an infinitesimal number, six to 100 annually, with farcical fines. And in the case of workers’ deaths, there's almost never any prosecution. Even exposing workers to asbestos commonly elicits a tiny $2,000 fine. Logically, rules are worthless unless there is punishment, and severe penalties applied. To levy no punishment sends a strong ‘unsafety’ message, and as for deterrence, this null and void.

Viewed as a commercial commodity, their lives ruled worthless, workers’ safety was surrendered long ago. Whether negligence, industrial manslaughter or murder, the law of no liability makes all lawbreakers legitimately safe. In the UK, legislation was introduced in 2007 to ensure that corporate employers could be properly prosecuted. It has worked. The safety record there improved immediately because under criminal law jail time became a real risk.

When construction workers go to work each day, they are seriously imperilled. Too many will never return home, many will live miserable lives and others will later be driven to end their own lives. It’s time to stop the lies, to bring in the rule of law and put an end to contaminated and dangerous workplaces.

We need to elevate the value of Australian workers’ lives, their families and our community. The first step is to terminate the spurious ‘safe work’ swindle.

 
  • Another staggering discovery Anne,

    It makes me wonder if anyone (including the press) really care… or rather… are allowed to really care about anything which affects big business.

    And there seems to be layer upon layer of this uncaring approach to serious things which affect workers (and consumers) lives… and not just in the building industry, but right across the board. And recently the unions are being hemmed in with what seems to be threats to their very existence.

    Well done in uncovering what seems for years to have been another huge cover-up. It's staggering!

  • The MBA in these very pages called for a return to the " rule of law" but clearly that doesn't apply to everybody – only the select few that they really represent.

    John Passant, former Assistant Commissioner of Taxation recently said " Obeid's gaoling is an example not of a rotten apple but of a rotten barrel. The political system is by its very nature, corrupt". As you have said where does business stop and government start – they are but one. I applaud your courage to say it like it is Anne

    This article should be put in front of as many politicians as possible and I will attempt to do that after the holiday season.

    A building and construction industry expose by 4 Corners may get some answers. It is time the electorate stood up against political donation and professional lobbyists – it is corruption.

  • Thank you for showing us what is hidden behind the spin once again Anne, the mainstream media has become (or always was) a complete joke full of propaganda. The real stories are untold until people like yourself come along and blow the lid off.

  • Thank you Anne for speaking up and for doing what must have been a great deal of research.The statistics here are so incredible that some outside of the industry might find them hard to believe. However I am not in any way surprised. Most of all I am saddened by this cover-up. Safety on many construction sites is simply not a priority and the lives of workers are lost in the race for profits and profits. I know because my husband worked in the industry all his life.
    In regards to the numerous shocking statistics a number jump out at me. The 190 suicides in construction every year is disgraceful! And the asbestos figures only list the mesothelioma deaths, not the full asbestos picture but very terrfying. Given that asbestos is still being imported and used when it was banned many years ago and then to consider the huge quantities in old buildings, it would seem that the numbers of people who will lose their lives is likely to be far higher than what is stated here. This one issue and the future deaths mean a big time bomb. This for workers and all of us who come in contact. Where are our elected politicians who are paid to protect workers and our whole community?

  • An extremely comprehensible and truy shocking article. In the U.S. employers along with their insurers have been allowed to break every law in the book. What happens to injured, ill or dead workers is incomprehensible, unconscionable and perhaps one of the biggest ugliest and darkest secret in our country. The level of the lack of medical care or even the butchery performed by state WC licensed medical/legal doctors goes, beyond the pale of committing crimes , crimes against humanity, where either it's experimentation, malpractice or just downright performing procedures to be used as retaliation or not providing medical care is retaliation too. Then we have those who don't get benefits to live on literally putting people from living an adequate life to abject poverty which includes injured or ill worker's spouses and their children. A total destruction of families. The illegal and malicious gang talking with techniques & tactics used by SPY groups like the CIA, KGB, STASI'S. NAZI'S, MI-5 that were incorporated by employers starting in the 70's, used and paying local, state and federal law enforcement including the FBI paid directly by corporations as well as paying directly District Attorneys and judges.. We also have decades of litigation that isn't supposed to be to force injured workers into small pithy settlements for the serious injuries & illnesses. With the U.S. allowing employers, their insurer lawyers & judges to force injured workers onto tax payer public funded programs like Social Security and Medicare & state based programs that the injured paid for when working. Programs to get injured workers back to work or not report injuries result in multi millions investment profit & that's the only goal.

  • I sincerely hope this article doesn't get lost in the holiday period ether. I am aware there are far more harrowing stories and concerning statistics that could not possibly fit into this article that Anne has provided. I am aware of threats to some journalists if they attempt to expose. Australians should be very concerned by the federal governments embargo on information from immigration camps, their continued attack on the ABC when they don't report favourably and the biased nature of talk back radio in this country. Media ownership is more and more being controlled by one media company who have a stated and obvious political bias and a very unethical approach to reporting. We are entitled to the truth and balanced reporting no matter what flavour of politics not some dropkicks paid for opinion. There is not a newspaper in QLD not controlled by this organisation. We have a serious problem when government and business are controlling what is being fed to the electorate. We have a bigger problem when vested interests are determining [buying] policy and legislation. I know the problems Anne faces to be heard – nobody wants to know about it — provide a solution they say. Isn't that what our politicians are elected to do.

  • Thank you Anne, brilliant story. I have nothing but disgust for work safe and the insurance companies involved. Their commercials are cringeworthy, the only thing they want to protect is their bottom line. My husband had a life changing injury back in 2009 and their treatment of him was just awful. I have nothing but sympathy for anyone having to deal with these fools.

  • It is not surprising that there is a serious problem with safety within the construction Industry. It is after all the biggest industry in Australia and without it Australia would not have an economy. Only a person living on the moon cannot see how rapidly this industry has expanded. There are now more cranes operating on the East Coast of Australia than in the whole of the United States of America and yet the government regulator has not increased the number of crane inspectors in proportion to the increased number of cranes. During this period of rapid expansion the construction industry has become dependent upon imported materials many of which do not meet Australian Standards, this situation most likely applies to much of the imported machinery used on building sites including cranes. During this time of rapid expansion the training of trades people has completely transformed from one of Technical School dedicated to train tradespeople and assist them into employment through our apprenticeship scheme to one where the industry is far more reliant on overseas trained workforce. During this time of rapid transition within the industry we have seen one of the largest rises in immigration to Australia including people on 457 Visas who do not speak English, many of whom work in the construction industry and operate machinery. During this time of rapid transition within the industry the workforce has become capsulized and no longer migrates as a tribe from work site to work site with the members of the tribe looking out for each other’s safety but has become a random swarm that moves between work places on an individual basis.
    The regulator has neglected his duty by failing to mitigate the risks to the work force by not implementing standards and training that will interact with the changes that have occurred. Unfortunately if the regulator where to act this would put him in conflict with the vested interest who`s only goal is to maximize profit over and above the needs and lives of the relatives of Australian families. Unfortunately the regulator has been invaded by that vested interest.

  • Thank you Anne for your conviction. You present us with an insightful view into the WHS practices (sic) re the building industry.
    You lift the lid on otherwise obscured facts; you champion the plight of the many voiceless construction workers; you unmask the complicit involvement of regulator and business.
    The problem is all the more concerning because it is getting more serious.
    High time someone lifts their game

  • The OHS&W Act 1986 was the worst legislation the ever hit Australia. It has, and continues to cost industry, billions of dollars and does nothing to make work safer.

    We spend countless man hours filling out useless paperwork to cover our butts, it's of no practical use on the job. Unfortunately, safety is now an industry in itself, costing everyone and producing nothing.

    I have clients who charge me over $500 registration fee then $50 per staff member for Safety Inductions. Charges I immediately pass back to them on the next job I do. A ridiculous waste of time and money.

  • Veronica, I am very sorry to hear about your husband's injury and thank you for your courage in sharing it with us. I can appreciate how it has altered his life, yours and impacted your whole family. He is now one of millions of Australians injured or living with terminal disease, their lives wrecked forever. I have spoken to people who have had to deal with the Work Cover agencies and as you describe, the treatment is disgraceful. It is now a fully-fledged industry of 'bureaucrats' employing many thousands across the country, and together with the insurance agents who receive financial rewards for refusing to pay out to workers' on their genuine claims, none of these 'employed' would have 'work'. For them to be 'employed, workers must continue to be killed, injured or suffer work-related diseases. All are dependent on workers becoming sick or injured – on top of being 'paid' by us, they then receive further rewards for falsely denying claims! All at the expense of real people and their lives. The Government in these cases continues to dub these carefully 'planned-to-fail schemes' as 'systemic failure' (although in this case no official comment has been made). But behind the 'system' are private businesses making mega Billions of dollars and public officials who we pay making public policy, this devised to fail workers – and the whole community! One thing is blatantly clear: Our Governments are in bed with business and have no intention of changing the carefully contrived, rigorously rigged system. Now or anytime in the future. As it stands, even after the damning findings of Ombudsman's Investigation in Victoria (Sep 2016), incredibly the Insurance Agents are still receiving financial rewards! Until we all unite, speak up loudly and refuse as 'people' to be treated as commercial products, this swindle will remain in place, so many lives will be ruined needlessly and this scam will be visited upon our loved ones in the future. My thoughts are with all those whose lives have been shattered, their families and those who lost their loved one in a workplace incident that should never have happened.

  • What you have exposed here Anne is what most of us have always suspected to be true. We just needed you to put it into the media and to support it with strong evidence. Thank you for doing this on behalf of our community and country. We have followed the disturbing pattern of our politicians over such a long time. We know they have no interest in us. They ignore our letters and refuse to meet with us. This despite their letters to 'us', all massed produced and saying they want to meet 'us' and to help 'us'! Then when we test this out and request a meeting they refuse to meet or discuss 'our issues' again! In hiding – unless there is an election on!
    Even though these stories are mostly never in the 'news', we know we cannot trust the government. We have lived it! As Dina says, it is about the biggest and ugliest of secrets and these are most distinguished as crimes against humanity. The corporations are allowed to use us and abuse us and then send us off to a life of "abject poverty". Really this is much more than unconscionable. The poor and disabled made so by trying to work to support their family, and then left unable to live, to survive or to eat. The poor and disabled not able to speak and no one will give them any voice. The poor and disabled up against the lawyers and judges who are not just part of the system, they are the system. How to get 'justice' in such a corrupt system? I wonder: Where are the unions? Where is the media? Why are the elected politicians not accountable? What happened to democracy? Most importantly, what should we all do to help bring some fairness into this unfair, unjust and despicable system? Let us join and support Anne and others speaking out and make our voice heard.

  • Anne,
    The Victorian ombudsman's report into complex claims reported that there are more than 90,000 claims 'being managed' by WorkSafe Victoria. That includes the roughly 26,000 claims that were lodged in 2015/16 and tens of thousands of claims from past years. You have inaccurately stated that there were more than 90,000 claims lodged in Victoria in a year.
    Regards

  • John, I note your comment regarding the 90,000 claims 'managed' by WorkSafe Victoria and would welcome any further information from you to make me better informed.
    I assume you must work in the bureaucracy given your reference to 'claims' rather than to people. I also note that you refer to "tens of thousands of claims from past years", these presumably the very long-term claims of the permanently injured or chronically ill people who make up the annual total of 90,000 ‘claims’ as reported by the Ombudsman. Your point illustrates the extreme difficulty of getting to the truth of the matter. What with the unknown number of workers sent home on various types of leave and their incidents never 'registered' (hence no ‘claims’); then the large number of workers who do not qualify and so can never lodge a claim; and lastly the unknown number who lodge a claim, with their claims denied – or those who over the years become the 'terminated’. The Ombudsman's Report was most educational on the various strategies employed to drag out cases and in exposing the financial rewards for insurance agents who manage to arrange “the termination of claims before they exceed certain milestones (13 weeks, 52 weeks and 134 weeks)” – disgracefully a continuing practice!
    You no doubt know that the ‘official’ claim statistics provide only a small part of the overall picture. But regardless I am sure any reasonable person would be horrified to learn that 90,000 people annually are acknowledged ‘officially’ as victims of harmful, hazardous workplaces. Industry professionals have informed me that with proper safety protocols in place, all deaths are preventable – this also the position of the WSV CEO Ms Amies! It logically follows that workplace injuries and workplace-contracted diseases should also be largely preventable if appropriate 'safety protocols' were established, actually followed AND enforcement action applied to all law breakers – i.e. strong penalties! If recalcitrant directors of companies were severely punished, this would act to deter others from ignoring the ‘so-called’ laws and stop the many serial offenders who treat people as expendable products to be thrown on the scrap heap when they have served their purpose! This is a very serious subject – and one where far too many of these 'throwaways' end up as fatalities, albeit death at the workplace or slowly over years – the finality is that their lives are forever lost.

  • Thank you Anne for informing us of our real Australia. Again you have hit the nail on the head! I cannot believe the harm to workers who work in all jobs and especially in the building industry. Most of us do not have the time or skills to find the facts and this is how we are hoodwinked. I read John's comment and I am gobsmacked by the fact that 90,000 Victorians could be in the system every year and yet only 26,000 as new claims. Does this mean that many tens of thousands of people are lingering without payments year upon year. I do not follow. Why are they denied payments? Who decides.? Who wins out of such a system? You have opened my eyes to government failures or is it worse and are the insurance companies in cohoots with government to hide the truth from the public and harm the devastated workers? Thank God for Anne doing al this exhaustive research because sadly no one else seems to be interested. Where are the mass media on this issue? Good on Sourceable!

  • Congratulations Anne on another factual, finely researched, crisply written article.

    Having interviewed Anne Paten over the past five years or so for my radio program Judy-Ann & Co.I've covered Anne's work including: failings of the building industry, insurance companies lack of responsibility, to as a direct result people's suicides, bankruptcy and broken marriages.

    Any Journalist or Producer reading this I can assure you Anne has put in 'the hard yard's having seen many back up documents, for anything Anne has written or been interviewed about
    This piece deserves an airing on Four Corners and published in major newspapers alerting the public to the failings in the present system.
    In many instances Anne explained to me legislation is already in place but not implemented due to big business entanglement with either or both State and Federal. Governments.
    I urge those of you who have now read this article, use your contacts to alert those who make a difference and decisions and let's change the culture of greed and profit before the common good and the spirit of the legislation for fairness to the worker.

  • Hi Anne, excellent article. However there is another dimension to this issue. The insurance companies and business entities are reacting to the Australia wide rorting of the workers compensation system that has occurred for a long time. From the Mediterranean (sic) back to the NSW railways the false and exagerated claims were at a level that were (and still are) contributing to companies relocating overseas.
    What is happening now as is highlighted in your article is appalling. All we have to do is act honestly with good intent. Good luck with that

  • Thanks Anne for lifting the lid on this scandalous state of affairs. As an industry professional (self employed builder for 22yrs ) I can attest to the paucity of safety standards in the building industry and the apathy of Worksafe in policing it. I would like to add a couple of points to your excellent article. Firstly, the indifference of the government in registering trades and fostering a double standard with owner builders is pushing builders into cutting corners to try to compete. Secondly, Worksafe inspectors have a tick a box approach to evaluating risk with no appreciation of engineering principles. They are so busy nitpicking that the real dangers, like unsecured brickwalls, go up-noticed.

  • I would like to respond to Dina Padilla's comment of a few weeks ago. In relation to the United States, Dina said: "What happens to injured, ill or dead workers is INCOMPREHENSIBLE, UNCONSCIONABLE AND PERHAPS ONE OF THE BIGGEST, UGLIEST AND DARKEST SECRETS IN OUR COUNTRY." Sadly my extensive research has uncovered that the very same applies here in Australia. Here too these "crimes against humanity" have continued, ever-worsening over decades. And they remain one of Australia's darkest secrets. Workers are the ones attacked, bullied and persecuted, their legitimate claim 'benefits' denied so others on the gravy train can make squillions out of their misery. The workers' lives are wrecked and their families destroyed – and they are defrauded of their entitlements by the insurance companies, this only enabled through the assistance of Govt officials. Injured workers' money is robbed and instead paid to the many parasitic 'compo' businesses and the hundreds of bureaucracies and their thousands of officials – they the financial beneficiaries of the business built on' 'unsafe and toxic' workplaces for workers. And to add insult to injury, the insurance agents are further financially rewarded to TERMINATE the workers' genuine claims – their deaths, injuries and terminal diseases not compensated even in a financial or medical sense. Deplorably, many injured workers die whilst in the 'adversarial' legal process that can drag on for years – all Govt approved. Worse, it is the workers who are stalked in their pain and grief, preyed upon and then the ones prosecuted for 'fraud' – when it is an infinitesimal 0.02% of workers who attempt to defraud the system.

    The real defrauders, those who caused the damage to injured workers are protected and under 'cover' – they are rarely punished or prosecuted, even when serial offenders who persistently ignore all OH&S laws, with these companies' workers killed and injured and the conduct by some repeated over decades. For the few who are ever prosecuted, often their names are hidden – the Courts direct censorship to protect the future 'employment' of both companies and individuals! Likewise, those who direct that money NOT to be paid to workers are protected – those who defraud the workers of their legal claims, and as such become the beneficiaries of the MEGA Billions of dollars annually that should be paid to workers. No, they are never prosecuted for real fraud, never put before a court for swindling workers of their 'legal' right to payment because they are all officially protected. The 'work cover' protects those who disregard the law and discount the worth of people's lives, and those who deny workers the 'cover' meant for them when killed, injured or contracting a disease through their 'work'.
    It is shameful that the business of 'safety' and 'work cover' is really about big 'business' profiteering and bureaucracy building, with injured workers the necessary pre-requisite to feed the monster. Injured workers are the business and a continuing supply is needed in order to boost this beastly business. Thus, as the source of all revenue, injured workers die or their lives are ruined forever – and all who benefit are enabled to prosper at their expense. This 'systemic failure' is officially authorized and 'legally' endorsed and enforced! There is something very wrong in Australia, and all the more so when so many millions of Australians in positions of knowledge, power and influence choose to be a part of or to turn a blind eye on such corrupted, immoral practices and blatant injustice.

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