The Consultative committee for work-related fatalities and serious incidents (affected persons committee) was established to ensure there is an ongoing consultative forum for injured workers and families affected by a workplace death, illness or serious incident.
Our purpose is to provide:
- advice and recommendations to the Minister for Industrial Relations about the information and support needs of people impacted by work-related deaths, serious incidents and illness
- a forum where Queenslanders impacted by work-related deaths, serious incidents and illness can connect and share information.
The committee is established under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and its members are appointed by the Minister for Industrial Relations. All members have either suffered the loss of a loved one or have been seriously injured through a work-related incident. The committee meets quarterly.
If you too have suffered as a result of a work-related fatality, serious illness or injury, we want to hear from you. Please direct message a request to join a closed support group via our Support for families of workplace fatalities, illness and injuries Facebook page.
You can also contact us by emailing OHSConsultativeCommittee@oir.qld.gov.au or calling us on 0417 910 130.
Dan Kennedy (Chair) and Debbie Kennedy
Dan and Debbie encourage prioritising health and safety so people can go home at the end of the day to their loved ones.
Dan and Debbie’s son, Dale, was just 20 years old, a young father and close to finishing his electrical apprenticeship when he died from an electric shock while working in a ceiling space. As well as Dan’s work as Chair of the affected persons committee, Dan and Debbie share Dale’s story at events throughout the state as Queensland safety advocates. They encourage workers, especially young workers, to speak up if they see something that is unsafe and to always turn the power off before working in a ceiling space.
Sean O’Connor (Deputy Chair)
As Deputy Chair of the affected persons committee, Sean works to prevent others from experiencing the grief of losing a loved one in an avoidable incident. His passion is consumer protection.
In 2017, Sean’s sister, Kerryn O’Connor, was electrocuted while handling an electrical appliance with a hidden failure.
Representing his parents, Jim and Robyn, Sean joined the committee after experiencing the devastating impact that Kerryn’s death had on his family. He has an electrical trade and experience leading staff in heavy industrial, transport and mining industries. This provides him with a practical insight into the health and safety challenges that workers face going about and doing their jobs.
Don and Julie Sager
Julie and Don work on the affected persons committee to support people impacted by work-related illness and raise awareness about asbestos-related diseases.
Don and Julie’s son, Adam, died of mesothelioma (an asbestos-related cancer) when he was just 25 years old. He had been exposed to asbestos fibres in 1983 as a toddler, when Don and Julie were building their home from a pre-fabricated kit. Adam’s mesothelioma took more than 20 years to develop and, from diagnosis, took only ten months to take his life in April 2007.
Jacci joined the affected persons committee after her husband, Lyndon Quinlivan died at work after being overcome by hydrogen sulphide gas in 2018. Jacci is passionate about being part of the committee to be a voice for the father of her children and husband, but also herself, Lyndon’s family and all other workers and loved ones who feel as though they can’t speak up.
She works on the committee to advocate for accountability, justice and change in the hope that no one else has to endure the pain, anguish, and torment of losing a loved one in a work-related incident, which she describes as ‘a life sentence’.
Antoinette James is passionate about safety in the agriculture industry and committed to supporting others who have experienced a serious work-related injury or illness.
In 2012, while mustering cattle on her family farm, her husband, a highly experienced stockman, fell from his horse suffering horrific head, neck, and abdominal crush injuries.
Previous affected persons committee members
We would like to acknowledge our previous committee members:
- Founding Chair Michael Garrels
- Lee Garrels
- Luisa Wilson
- David Miles
- Paul Bailey
- Jen Beveridge
- Rachel Blee
- Kevin Fuller
- Bill Martin
- Jo Ufer
- Samantha Wood.