14/10/2020 - 12:00

IFAP to shut Freo facility

14/10/2020 - 12:00

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IFAP will cease operation of its Fremantle training centre at the end of this month, citing industrial manslaughter laws now widely tipped to pass state parliament as the reason.

IFAP to shut Freo facility
IFAP's training centre will shut on October 29. Photo: Grant Durr

IFAP will cease operation of its Fremantle training centre at the end of this month, citing industrial manslaughter laws now widely tipped to pass state parliament as the reason.

That legislation, which will impose the possibility of lengthy jail terms for businesses found guilty of criminal negligence, has been opposed by a broad array of industry bodies in recent months.

Among those who oppose the Bill is Master Builders Association of WA executive director John Gelavis, who told Business News in July the laws would creative a blame culture within the construction industry.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA chief executive Chris Rodwell had objected to language that might have imposed lengthy jail terms for businesses regardless of whether they could have forseen an accident occuring.

That provision has since been removed from the Bill.

The Bill’s passage came under renewed attention yesterday following the collapse of a building site at Curtin University that led to the death of a 23-year old worker.

WorkSafe is now investigating the incident.

In a joint letter to members, customers and suppliers sent in early September, IFAP president Maria Saraceni and acting-chief executive Adam Bonneville said the decision aligned with the legislation’s expected passing of state parliament later this year.

“The new WHS legislation will not only place a suite of new and onerous obligations on businesses or undertakings in relation to their workforce and on their directors and senior personnel, but will extend their obligations to the manner in which their work affects the health and safety of members of the public,” they said.

“The new WHS regulations will introduce changes to skills and competencies required and this will, in turn, impact upon training and other educational requirements.

“It is within this context, that IFAP has made the strategic decision to cease operation of its Offshore Maritime Training Centre (OMTC) at Rous Head, Fremantle.

“OMTC will continue to operate its full suite of training offerings (with COVID 19 precautions in place) until 29 October 2020.

“Bookings are continuing to be taken until then.

“IFAP is proud to have led the maritime, oil & gas and resources sector safety training for over 25 years.

“We thank our staff, members, all past and present OMTC customers and training participants for their patronage and trust that the skills they learnt have made a positive difference to their and to industry safety outcomes.”

The letter said the organisation will now focus on advocacy, consulting and training services, with a new strategy and service offering to be announced later this year aimed at assisting organisations to adapt to the new laws.

IFAP is the sixth-largest industry body in WA, according to Data & Insights, employing 70 staff and servicing 1,162 members.

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