WorkSafe WA Family Support Liaison Officer
The WorkSafe Family Support Liaison Officer is available to support families through our investigation and legal processes following the death of a partner or relative at work. In some cases, this service is also available to seriously injured workers.
What is the role of a Family Support Liaison Officer?
The Family Support Liaison Officer is a specifically-trained person who is independent from conducting investigations, but works closely with the investigation team. They are not a counsellor, but can provide you and your family with various levels of support.
In most cases, the WorkSafe Family Support Liaison Officer will be your first and primary contact person at WorkSafe WA following a work-related death.
The Family Support Liaison Officer can:
- keep you informed about the investigation and prosecution processes
- provide information and link you to other relevant government agencies
- provide regular updates on key investigative milestones
- help you understand court processes and provide family support at court hearings
- connect you with other support services if you request it.
WorkSafe has adopted the Safe Work Australia National Principles to guide best practice in supporting bereaved families impacted by a work-related death.
Please be aware that the Family Support Liaison Officer can't provide crisis support. If you need urgent counselling, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 and, in an emergency, call 000.
A list of support services have been included on this page.
How much information may WorkSafe share?
During the course of an investigation, WorkSafe is restricted to sharing general information only. In addition to confidentiality requirements, sharing any specific information may affect the integrity of the ongoing investigation and, if appropriate, any prosecution. Also, given the majority of evidentiary material collected during the investigation is for the dominant purpose of seeking legal advice for anticipated legal proceedings, this means the information is protected by a common law right (legal professional privilege) and cannot be shared. This rule applies regardless of whether a charge is recommended later or not. If you have any questions about this process, the Family Support Liaison Officer may be able to answer your queries.
How else can I access information?
The Freedom of Information Act 1992 (FOI Act) provides a general right of access to documents held by a government agency.
There are specific exemptions within the FOI Act that prohibit the release of certain types of information. This includes information that would prejudice an ongoing investigation, or that may identify a third party. This means, an information request submitted before an investigation is completed, in most cases, will not enable information permitted to be released to be made available. Therefore, we suggest delaying a request for information until the investigation is completed to ensure all available information can be provided.
We encourage you to contact the Department before submitting your application. Our FOI coordinators can advise if the information you are seeking requires an FOI application and, if so, how to apply.
In order to receive the maximum amount of information available, a legislated $30 application fee is required when lodging the application. A copy of the death certificate is also required to establish your relationship to the deceased.
You can speak to the FSLO or the FOI co-ordinators about FOI applications, or visit the department's freedom of information web content.
General FOI information is also available by accessing the Office of the Information Commissioner’s website
How to obtain help and support
Talking to someone in a safe and confidential environment may help you find ways of coping with your feelings. Listed below are suggestions for finding someone to talk to.
- Your family doctor – you may get some practical help and support from your family doctor. They may also be able to help you find a counsellor, if you need one.
- Your local church or religious group may offer some support.
- Your partner or relative's union may offer some support.
- A workplace Employee Assistance Program (EAP) – if your partner or relative was an employee, then you may have access to a counsellor through their workplace’s employee assistance program. This may provide grief counselling. You could contact the employer to see if such a program is available.
Family members who are affected by the loss of someone through a work-related death, the Coroner's Court has a free counselling service available for families and friends of deceased people. The counsellors can help explain the post-mortem examination, the coroner's role and arrangements to see your partner or relative's body. They can also provide counselling on trauma and loss.
The WorkSafe Family Support Liaison Officer has access to different support services and may be able to complete a referral seeking those services on your behalf.
Mental health support
If you or a family member needs help immediately, please contact the following services.
Phone 1300 22 4636
Phone 92231111 or 1800 199 008
Kids Help Line
24 hour telephone counselling service for children and young people.
Phone 1800 551 80
24-hour crisis telephone service for anyone needing emotional support.
Phone 131 114
Mental Health Emergency Response Line (MHERL)
Phone: 1300 555 788 (metro region) or 1800 676 822 (Peel region)
Assistance for bereaved persons
The following services are also available to assist the bereaved.
Compassionate Friends Western Australia
The Compassionate Friends of Western Australia supports families who have lost a child, regardless of that child’s age or circumstances of their death. They provide information resources and peer support through group meetings.
Phone: 08 6107 6288 or 08 6107 6257
Coronial Counselling Service
Coroner’s Court of Western Australia
A duty counsellor is available daily between 7am and 6pm. They can assist with some grief counselling or arrange referral to other community agencies, professional counsellors and support groups.
Phone 9425 2900 (business hours), 0419 904 476 (after hours) or 1800 671 994 (country callers)
Grief Centre of Western Australia
The Grief Centre of Western Australia provides practical, psychological and emotional support services for people experiencing grief through bereavement.
Phone: 0404 658 052
Telephone support, online forums and support groups for anyone experiencing grief and loss.
Phone 1300 845 745 (6am to midnight, 7 days a week
Road Trauma Support WA
Road Trauma Support WA provides information, support and counselling to anyone in Western Australia who has been affected by a road crash, including family, friends and carers.
Phone 6166 7688 or 1300 004 814
Memorial and remembrance
Worker’s Memorial Day is held on 28 April each year at Solidarity Park, corner of Parliament Place & Harvest Terrace, West Perth. It provides an opportunity to remember those who have died as a result of workplace accidents, incidents and disease and to also to campaign for stronger occupational safety and health laws.
Following the service community members are invited to lay wreaths at the memorial wall.
Suggested related links
- A death in a workplace: A Guide for Families
- Safe Work Australia, National Principles for supporting bereaved families
- WorkCover WA, Indexation of Workers’ Compensation Payments for 2021-22
- WA Coroner's Court of Western Australia
- Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety - Freedom of information
- Overview of Western Australia's Work Health and Safety Act 2020
- Prosecution summaries
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