Contact Us

Please contact us for further information:

advice@hradviceonline.com.au

1300 720 004

Testimonials

Thanks to HR Advice Online, our company has established a set of HR policies and procedures based on the documentation provided to us.  Throughout the initial set up process and continuing to this day, HR Advice Online provided us with the highest quality service in the way of excellent response times and quality documentation.  The service provided was very easy to understand and apply to our business needs. Thanks again for all of your help and assistance.

- Mark Ainley, Ainley Projects

Blog

Recent news

Workplace Manslaughter Laws

Please see below from our friends at HR Legal
Workplace Manslaughter Laws Now a Reality for Victorian Employers

On 26 November 2019, the Workplace Safety Legislation Amendment (Workplace Manslaughter and Other Matters) Act 2019 was passed in the Victorian Parliament, establishing workplace manslaughter as a criminal offence under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act). The law will come into effect before July 2020.

Liability for workplace manslaughter will arise where an employer or an officer of a business, by act or omission, negligently breaches any duty under the OHS Act, where that breach results in the death of another person.

Conduct will be considered to be negligent under the OHS Act where it involves:

  • a great falling short of the standard of care that would have been taken by a reasonable person in the circumstances in which the conduct was engaged in; and
  • a high risk of death, serious injury or serious illness.

The maximum penalty for employers that negligently cause a workplace death will now be $16,522,000, while an individual or officer who negligently causes a work-related death in Victoria, could be jailed for up to 20 years.  This is in addition to any other charges which may be brought by WorkSafe under the OHS Act.

While these new provisions of the OHS Act have been met with concern by many employers, it is apparent that they are intended to cover the most serious and negligent breaches of occupational health and safety – that is, where the death of the worker would already have given rise to serious offences under the OHS Act.

In particular, the Explanatory Memorandum emphasised that ‘the mere fact that an organisation’s or officer’s conduct contributed causally to the death, or was a necessary cause of it, is not sufficient. It must have contributed significantly to the death or have been a substantial and operating cause.’

The introduction of this new offence of workplace manslaughter is a crucial and timely reminder that employers all around Australia should regularly review the health and safety systems in their workplaces to safeguard their employees.

It is disappointing that the legislation applies only to employers and officers and does not extend to employees when they contribute to fatalities of co-workers.

Author: Nikola Prestia, Senior Associate

Share this article

Welcome to HR Advice Online

To subscribe to our content and download our resource tools, you first need to be a registered user on our site. Please register first and you will be redirected to our Membership Page.

Member Login

Username:
Password:
Forgot Password ?  

Not a member yet? Sign Up!

Australia's Leading Online HR & Safety Advisory Service. 1300 720 004
Privacy Statement     Terms Of Use     Website Powered by XD     Design by The Schaefer Group     © HR Advice OnLine Pty Ltd