Victim Impact Statements in WorkSafe prosecutions

This guidance helps individuals understand the victim impact statement (VIS) — a document that explains to the court how you have been affected by a workplace injury or death. The VIS is your opportunity to tell the magistrate or judge how the incident has affected you.

Date last updated

Tuesday 19 May 2020

The victim impact statement

A VIS is a written statement to explain to the court how you and your family have been affected by the loss of your loved one. The VIS allows you to tell the magistrate or judge how the experience of losing a family member, friend or workmate has impacted your life and plans for the future.

The magistrate or judge must consider the impact the crime had on its victims when sentencing the accused individual or company (for example an employer). The VIS is one of the many factors that a magistrate or judge considers when deciding on a sentence.

Making a victim impact statement

A VIS should be written when the accused is found guilty or pleads guilty to a crime.

The WorkSafe Family Liaison Officer will send you an information pack which will include a form for the statutory declaration.

A VIS must be written in the form of a statutory declaration. It may include photographs, drawings, poems or other material. A VIS must relate to the impact of the offence on the victim or about the injury, loss or damage suffered by the victim because of the offence.

Who can make a victim impact statement?

Any victim of a crime can make a VIS. You are a victim of crime if you are physically and/or mentally injured or suffer emotional problems, loss or damage because of a crime. This includes grief, distress or trauma caused by the crime.

You do not need to be the victim or a legal next of kin to make a VIS. Family members, friends or workmates can make a VIS if they wish to.

If the primary victim is under 18 years of age, is ill or has a disability which affects their ability to complete a VIS, then a statement can be made on their behalf.

The plea hearing

The plea hearing happens after the accused is found guilty or pleads guilty, but before they are sentenced. At the plea hearing, prosecution and defence lawyers will provide information to the judge or magistrate to help them decide on the sentence for the accused. The court uses your VIS at the plea hearing. WorkSafe will give your VIS to the judge or magistrate, or you can read it in court or have a representative read it for you.

Help from the Family Liason Officer

The Family Liaison Officer is available to discuss your VIS and provide support through the investigation and legal processes. Read more about the Family Liaison Officer in Related information.

If you need urgent counselling, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 and in an emergency, call police on 000.

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