The government has introduced a new bill in Victoria that could see companies prosecuted for Industrial manslaughter. Victoria is the third jurisdiction in Australia to introduce the bill which will be part of the existing Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 and will apply to employers, self-employed individuals and officers.
The offence is aimed at conduct that is criminally negligent and unlike laws introduced in Queensland, the Victorian bill will apply to deaths of workers and members of the public making it much broader. The offence could cover situations where negligence causes an injury or illness to someone who later dies and could even apply to suicide following an employer’s careless conduct. Companies are now under even more pressure to ensure the safety and well-being of their employees as charges could result in fines of up to $16.5 million (100,000 penalty units) or 20 years’ imprisonment.
Protecting your workers
To identify health and safety hazards amongst staff, thorough risk assessments should be carried out regularly and any risks identified should then be assessed and mitigated. You can find out more about risk assessments here.
Lone worker app
StaySafe provides employers with a low cost, easy to use solution to help manage the safety of their lone workers. Comprising an app and online hub, StaySafe provides employers with real-time updates on employee’s safety status and location whilst they work.
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