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Workplace Manslaughter. Understanding legislative changes

02 July 2020

Workplace manslaughter is now regarded a criminal offence under the occupational health and safety laws in Victoria.  

This applies to employers or work officers that are negligent in their compliance duties and this tragically results in the death of a worker. Those individuals in a position of seniority who can affect the change in the organisation must comply with the obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. 

Who is Workplace Manslaughter legislation aimed at? 

If you are a manager and you are directly responsible for the safe working environment of your workers, whether employees or contractors the legislation applies to you, and also designers and manufacturers of heavy plant equipment. 

The purpose of the legislation is two-fold. The first is to prevent future occurrences of workplace death and the second is that compliance under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act) will assure the safety of those in the workplace when carrying out high risk duties.  

What are the implications of non-compliance should a fatality occur? 

Most professional industrial companies will be exercising a good level of OHS. However, those that do not comply and that non-compliance results in a fatality are now subject to prosecution for a significant criminal offence.  A company can be fined up to $16.5 million dollars and an individual found guilty under industrial manslaughter laws can face twenty years imprisonment. 

How Sitepass can help organisations manage and monitor workplace safety 

Although these rules presently apply to Victorian Law only, now is a good time to review your OHS practices to ensure full compliance.  Sitepass’ integrated contractor management system is a tool to help you meet these obligations head-on ensuring the safety and protection of your most valuable assets, your people.  

If you’d like to find out more, we’re here to help.  

Ben Borin
Ben Borin

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