New Industrial manslaughter law for Queensland Workplace deaths continue to happen too often on Queensland worksites.

One death is too many, and that’s why it was pleasing to see the State Government recently pass laws to make workplaces safer, including tougher penalties for employers who have unsafe worksites that lead to preventable deaths.

This includes a new standalone offence of industrial manslaughter – now corporations risk large penalties for significant safety breaches or even jail terms. Queensland is only the second place in Australia to have such laws.

The safety of our members has always been and always will be our top priority.

These laws, which come into effect on 1 July 2018, are another step in making sure workers come home safely at the end of the working day.

Many employers take safety seriously, but we hear too often about some who talk safety but their actions don’t match.

All employers should be making safe worksites a non-negotiable priority, including making sure they provide the right training and equipment, tools and machinery so that workers are not exposed to a avoidable injuries and accidents.

Safer workplaces are happier workplaces; and safer workplaces contribute to safer communities.

To help you understand the recent law changes, our lawyers, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers have prepared the following summary:

Industrial manslaughter

Employers whose conduct is seen to cause the death of a worker can now be charged with the offence of industrial manslaughter.

New maximum penalties

The maximum penalties for industrial manslaughter will be 20 years imprisonment of an individual and $10 million for a body corporate (an employer).

Office for Work Health and Safety prosecutions

There will be an independent statutory office of Work Health and Safety (WHS) prosecutions established to conduct and defend court and tribunal proceedings.

Workplace Health and Safety Officers

Health and Safety Representatives (HSR) will now be required to undertake training within six months of being elected to the role, which will need to be refreshed every three years.

For more information on the changes to the workplace safety laws, visit: work-health-and-safety-and-other-legislation-amendment-act-2017

*Content provided by Maurice Blackburn

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