Win for grieving family
IT may not bring him back, but the parents of Lee Tapping, who was killed in a workplace accident at Grafton Shoppingworld in April, have won a battle in their son's name.
After 16 weeks of being denied compensation for Lee's workplace death, the NSW Premier Morris Iemma on Monday told Lee's parents, Ken Tapping and Susan Smith, of Grafton, that they would be granted compensation.
“The way I'm feeling at the moment is pretty terrible, but I enjoyed hearing the Premier come through with the promises he made last October,” Mr Tapping said.
“OHS (occupational health and safety) is not being followed by the book and when it's not followed by the book this is the result (Lee's death).
“If I can do anything to make sure this stops happening to others in this industry, if that can be brought down to zero I'll feel as though I've helped to contribute towards that.”
Around 30 families of workers killed in work-related incidents since October last year will receive ex-gratia payments as a result of the announcement.
Mr Iemma said the Government would legislate to increase death benefits, broaden the circumstances in which the benefit was paid and increase the lump sum paid to workers who sustained a permanent injury.
The Premier also acknowledged the grief of Lee's family, including his brothers Craig and Kane, and step-brothers Daniel and Tim. Despite the recognition by the State Government, Ken Tapping said it did not make the family's loss any easier.
“It's something I don't want to describe,” Mr Tapping said. “Those who have lost children will know about it but others will never understand.”
The CFMEU helped the Tapping's lobby the Iemma Government.