The Queensland Government has introduced legislative changes that would create a new offence of industrial manslaughter.
Under the new laws, individuals in Queensland found guilty of industrial manslaughter would face a maximum prison term of 20 years, while corporate offenders would face a fine of up to $10 million.
Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said the harsher penalties would act as a deterrent for any employers who are tempted to cut corners when it comes to workplace safety. Ms Grace said the laws send a strong message that “if you cost someone their life, you will pay.”
The State Government also said the laws would target companies that hide behind elaborate corporate structures in order to evade their responsibilities.
The new offence was one of 58 recommendations handed down by the Best Practice Review of Workplace Health and Safety Queensland. Ms Grace said the Work Health and Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Bill would seek to implement all of the review’s recommendations.
A copy of the full review can be found here: Best Practice Review of Workplace Health and Safety Queensland