The Maritime Union of Australia passes on its sincerest condolences to Andrew Kelly’s family after the seafaring member was crushed between two containers working off the coast of Dampier yesterday.
The 39-year-old Newcastle member was working aboard the Programmed Marine vessel, the Skandi Pacific, when the tragic incident occurred.
Andrew leaves behind a wife and four children, all under the age of ten, including a six-month-old baby.
The union has arranged for Hunterlink Recovery Services to provide counseling for those who were onboard at the time.
MUA National Secretary Paddy Crumlin said it was a sad and tragic day. “
My and all the MUA's thoughts are with the Kelly family in particular along with his workmates on this unfortunate day,” Crumlin said.
“The offshore industry is an inherently high safety risk environment, the highest in the country and the world, due to the isolated and unstable nature of seagoing work and the 24/7 requirements placed on seafarers.
The MUA is a relentless and unapologetic advocate for appropriate national safety and welfare programs, including equal time rosters and Employee Assistance Programs.
“It is unfortunate this area of essential national regulation has been treated as a political football by the Federal Government and Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA) in advocating the open-slather use of unregulated overseas labour, working outside of Australian workplace standards and jurisdiction,” he said referring to the Abbott Government’s attempts at allowing foreign workers without a visa access to offshore projects.
The Government has twice, through Assistant Immigration Minister Michaelia Cash, bypassed the Senate and ignored the determination of the Federal Court in issuing obscure legislative instruments to allow the offshore workers into the industry without a visa. See more here.
“This situation places unconscionable additional pressure on those Australian seafarers currently working in this high-risk, but essential national industry,” Crumlin said.
“This tragedy should be a timely punctuation for pause for those advocating the deregulation of the industry through legislative and other contested avenues and return to policies of good governance, ensuring long term confidence in Australia as an offshore hydrocarbon producer.
“The MUA will be working with the employer and workplace regulators to ensure the causes of the incident are fully identified and rectified as required.
“Again, our deepest sympathies are extended to Andrew's family, and pledge any support that may assist them in their deep grief."