Oh my, it’s true, heads are finally rolling at WorkSafe Vic, Denise Cosgrove the chief executive and David Krasnostein, chairman of Worksafe in Victoria, have been sacked by Premier Daniel Andrews
WorkSafe VIC CEO Denise Cosgrove & chairman sacked
Denise Cosgrove and David Krasnostein, the chief executive and chairman of Worksafe in Victoria, have been sacked by the state government.
Premier Daniel Andrews said he had lost confidence in Worksafe’s management after the government was assured in December that what turned out to be contaminated water at the Country Fire Authority’s Fiskville training centre was safe.
“They cannot explain how they got this wrong, in fact they cannot guarantee us that they even tested the water,” Andrews said in a press conference today. “I will not be lied to, and I will not accept incompetence.”
Noting that it was only two months between Worksafe Vic providing advice that the potable water was safe and the discovery of the chemical, he continued: “when you’re confronted with that complete inconsistency and people can’t explain to you how it is that they got it so very wrong, either someone hasn’t done their job or someone has been untruthful.”
The training centre was closed Monday night following the discovery of a chemical associated with a now-banned firefighting foam in the water supply. The site has long endured issues of contamination, which have been linked to cancer in former CFA personnel.
The resignations of CEO Denise Cosgrove and Chairman Krasnostein were received Tuesday morning.
Clare Amies, the executive director of Worksafe’s insurance business unit, will be appointed acting chief executive. Board member John Walter will step up as acting chair.
“The public needs to have confidence in WorkSafe because it’s responsible for the health and safety of Victorian workers,” said Finance Minister Robin Scott. “Confidence in public regulators must not be compromised. … An assurance of safety was given. The Fiskville findings prove otherwise.”
According to the Mandarin, Krasnostein is a former CEO of MLC Private Equity and chief general counsel of National Australia Bank. He is currently a director of the Transport Accident Commission and director at the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
Before becoming Worksafe CEO, Cosgrove was general manager of claims management and general manager of people and business services at New Zealand’s injury compensation scheme, the Accident Compensation Corporation.
Cosgrove, who was appointed by the Baillieu government, has previously found herself in the media after the ACC was involved in a significant privacy breach, when it sent the details of 6700 claimants to an individual who should not have had access to them.
She also came in for criticism in 2013 when she sent an email to staff opening with an account of her “relaxing” weekend in Daylesford, eventually leading into an announcement of job losses.
Prior to Cosgrove’s appointment, Worksafe VIC was battling complaints of a bullying culture among its staff.
Dear Miss Cosgrove (aka Fishface and Miss Insensitive), we WELCOME you to our Karma pages – where you get served what you DESERVE!
Vic Worksafe executives sacked
March 03, 2015 2:39PM
Two senior Worksafe executives have been sacked in the wake of further toxic contamination discovered at a Victorian CFA training facility.
WORKSAFE VIC chair David Krasnostein and chief executive Denise Cosgrove tendered their resignations at the request of Victorian government on Tuesday.
It follows the discovery on Monday of a potentially harmful chemical in the mains drinking water at the CFA’s Fiskville training facility – the same site is the subject of a parliamentary inquiry over a cancer cluster.
Premier Daniel Andrews said he’d lost confidence in Worksafe management after he was assured the site was safe in late 2014.
“How is it in December they told the government, and all Victorians, that it was safe?” Mr Andrews asked.
“They cannot explain how they got this wrong, in fact they cannot guarantee us that they even tested the water.
“I will not be lied to and I will not accept incompetence, particularly when it comes to the safety of those Victorians who put themselves in harms way.”
Mr Andrews said Fiskville was now closed indefinitely while testing to isolate the source of the contamination was underway.
Residues from a banned firefighting foam were detected in large tanks used to store mains water for firefighters’ everyday use.
The residues contain PFOS, a type of perfluoro chemical used in firefighting foams but banned in 2007 due to carcinogenic concerns.
Operations at Fiskville were downgraded in late 2014 after a parliamentary inquiry was called.
Historic use and dumping of toxic chemicals at the site have also been implicated in a cancer cluster among firefighters who have worked there going back to the 1970s.
Long-held concerns of a Fiskville-centred cancer cluster were confirmed in January.
A study found elevated rates of brain, skin and testicular cancers among 606 firefighters who worked or trained at Fiskville from 1971 and 1999.
Sixteen of those firefighters have died from cancer, and another 53 have battled it.
Related media articles
- WorkSafe heads sacked over Fiskville CFA centre contamination – The Age
- CFA’s Fiskville training college shut down after dangerous chemical found in water supply – Herald Sun
- Vic Worksafe executives sacked – News.com.au