Tongan seasonal worker community mourns loss of one of their own as Australia Worksafe investigates ‘workplace death’

The Tongan Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) community in Australia is in shock after the death of a Tongan employee in Perth.

Worksafe inspectors are investigating. Credit: Simon Santi/The West Australian Worksafe inspectors arrive at the business

The incident had been described as gruesome (“fakalilifu) but no details were released.

A Tongan woman who oversees one of the Tongan SWP groups in Australia said in a livestreamed video this week that she was informed about the fatal incident.

Joanna Matangi thanked the church community in Perth for their assistance and supports.

The news came after WorkSafe Australia confirmed it has launched an investigation after a Katanning abattoir worker died after being trapped in machinery, the Australian media reported.

A WorkSafe spokeswoman reportedly said the fatal workplace death occurred at the WAMMCO International meatworks on Saturday 10.

The man died from injuries arising from entrapment in machinery, the spokeswoman said.

It said Worksafe arrived at the scene earlier this week.

The probe into what occurred is still in its early stages.

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