Police union slams probe delay after cop hurt in hit-and-run
AN INDEPENDENT workplace investigation into an incident in which Constable Peter McAulay was hit by a stolen car was not launched until more than a week after he was critically injured.
The Queensland Police Union says the Workplace Health and Safety Queensland investigation was launched only after the union raised it with the police service.
"It should have been treated like any other workplace incident," QPU general secretary Mick Barnes told The Courier-Mail.
"I am not aware of any exculpatory provisions of the Workplace Health and Safety Act for the Queensland Police Service.
"Every other employer has an obligation to report serious workplace incidents with a view to having them investigated externally."
Constable McAulay was critically injured when the stolen vehicle crashed into him after he deployed road spikes in an attempt to stop the car in Booval late last month.
The union has been calling for other options in police pursuits including remote control road spikes, which would allow officers to be at a safe distance.
They've also raised the possibility of remote immobilisers to turn off cars.
"The lack of an appropriate pursuit policy in an attempt to curb these criminal behaviours places our people at risk when they have to deploy the road spikes," Mr Barnes said.
"I am hopeful that a comprehensive review by WHSQ and the QPS will reveal that there have been a number of instances and close calls for officers whilst deploying road spikes."
The QPS did not answer a list of questions as to whether WHSQ was called to the scene; what the standard practice for a workplace police incident was; and whether WHSQ was approached by police or launched its investigation independently.
In a statement, the QPS said it launched its own health and safety review and there were ongoing investigations being carried out by the Forensic Crash Unit and Ethical Standards Command.
"It is standard practice for all work-related injuries to be fully recorded by the QPS whilst Workplace Health and Safety Queensland conducts its own external review," a spokeswoman said.
A WHSQ spokeswoman said: "In accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between QPS and WHSQ, which includes protocols for investigating incidents in which there is potential for criminal charges, the matter was initially investigated by QPS. WHSQ investigations have since commenced."