Comcare responds to attacks: ‘we investigated, took action, saw results’

The Commonwealth work health and safety regulator has strongly defended itself against the latest attacks on its ability to uphold high standards of workplace safety — especially in complex, higher-risk work environments.

Comcare has hit back at a lawyers’ group which questioned whether it has the regulatory capability to maintain safe working environments in big, high-risk workplaces, as the government expands the agency’s private sector business.

Most, if not all, regulatory agencies endure the dreaded “toothless tiger” tag from time to time, and the agency that enforces health and safety in federal entities isn’t taking it lying down this time. A spokesperson for the agency sent The Mandarin a long rebuttal of the claims that asserted:

“Comcare always takes strong enforcement action — including prosecutions — against employers and workers where the facts warrant it.”

Prevention, through education and proactive inspections, was an approach that was showing results better or on par with all other jurisdictions, it said.

FREE membership to The Mandarin

Receive unlimited access, get all the latest public sector news and features, plus The Juice, our daily news update sent direct to your inbox.

The Mandarin is where Australia's public sector leaders discuss their work and the issues faced within modern bureaucracy. Join today to discover the latest in public administration thinking and news from our dedicated reporters, current and former agency heads and senior executives.