The following article is a general news item provided for the benefit of members. Its contents do not necessarily reflect the views of the Safety Institute of Australia.
Wednesday, 25 October, 2017 - 11:00
New industrial manslaughter laws have been passed by Queensland’s Parliament, and under the laws individuals guilty of industrial manslaughter will face 20 years imprisonment, with corporate offenders liable for fines of up to $10 million.
The new laws would leave negligent employers culpable in workplace deaths with nowhere to hide, said Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace.
“Negligent employers culpable in workplace fatalities in Queensland will face severe penalties for the new offence of industrial manslaughter,” she said.
“These penalties send out a strong message to all employers that negligence causing death won’t be tolerated under any circumstances.”
Because of increasingly elaborate corporate structures, up until now Minister Grace said it’s been difficult to prosecute some employers for manslaughter.
“But these new laws will hold all employers – regardless of their size or structure – accountable for negligence contributing to a worker’s death.”
Last year’s workplace deaths at Eagle Farm and Dreamworld, which resulted in six fatalities, brought home the need for these tough new laws, Minister Grace said.
The creation of the new offence of industrial manslaughter was one of 58 recommendations contained in Tim Lyons’s Best Practice Review of Workplace Health and Safety Queensland.