Workplace Manslaughter Laws To Protect Victorians

26 May 2018

Employers whose negligence leads to the death of an employee will face up to 20 years in jail under tough new laws to be introduced by a re-elected Andrews Labor Government.

Up to 30 people are killed at work in Victoria every year – this is 30 deaths too many.

The penalty must be a strong enough deterrent to make employers take workplace safety seriously, and not rely on deep pockets to avoid accountability while cutting corners on safety.

That’s why a re-elected Andrews Labor Government will create a new criminal offence of workplace manslaughter in the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004.

Under the proposed new law, employers will face fines of almost $16 million and individuals responsible for negligently causing death will be held to account and face up to 20 years in jail.

A re-elected Andrews Labor Government will make sure all Victorians are safe in our workplaces, with the offence to also apply when an employer’s negligent conduct causes the death of an innocent member of the public.

This new law sends a strong message that putting people’s lives at risk in the workplace will not be tolerated.

WorkSafe will be responsible for prosecuting employers who do the wrong thing and will be given the powers and resources needed to carry out justice.

This law will save lives and it’s vital we get it right – that’s why a re-elected Labor Government will establish an Implementation Taskforce, including business and unions, to consult on the detail of the proposed laws.

All Victorians deserve to come home from work each day, safe and sound – a re-elected Andrews Labor Government will help make sure they do.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“It couldn't be more simple: no one should die at work. These laws will help make sure that every Victorian makes it home to their loved ones.”

“Families who have lost a loved one at work deserve justice – and that means jail, not a slap on the wrist.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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