Workplace Manslaughter – A New Regulatory Approach
Thanks to Graham Manson, a Director/Founder of International Resilience Group and an Executive Committee member of ASIS Victoria Australia Chapter for this important article.
This is a timely reminder for businesses operating in Victoria and those security or safety specialists providing advice on operational risks that the Workplace Safety Legislation Amendment (Workplace Manslaughter and other matters) Bill 2019 was passed by the Victorian Parliament in November 2019. The legislation has not come into effect as yet but will by 1 July 2020.
The following elements must be proven:
- Offence by body corporate or a person who is not an employee or volunteer; and
- A duty of care was owed to the victim pursuant to sections 21 - 24 or sections 26 - 31 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic); and
- The accused breached the duty by criminal negligence in circumstances where there was a high risk of death, serious injury or serious illness; and
- The act that breached the duty of care was committed consciously and voluntarily; and
- The accused’s breach of the duty caused the victim's death.
Note – the offence can occur when the death of a person occurs sometime after the relevant incident. Officers of organisations are not necessarily absolved such as directors and secretaries, partners, trustees, persons who make substantial decisions about the business and persons who substantially affect an organisation’s financial standing.
Maximum penalties are 20 years imprisonment for individuals and $16.5 million for body corporates
More information on this subject is available through www.worksafe.vic.gov.au