New industrial manslaughter laws now in effect

New laws make issue a criminal offence in South Australia

New industrial manslaughter laws now in effect

New industrial manslaughter laws imposing severe penalties for offending employers have taken effect in South Australia as of July 1.

The new laws make industrial manslaughter a criminal offence, but do not impose additional health and safety obligations on businesses or workers, according to the SA government.

"Instead, they ensure that if a worker is killed through a breach of existing laws, then severe penalties are available," it said in its announcement.

Under the new laws, employers could face up to 20 years in prison or be fined by up to $18 million if they are found to have caused the death of a worker through a reckless or grossly negligent breach of health and safety.

"The introduction of higher order penalties, including jail time, for acts of gross neglect and recklessness, should deter those who may disregard their work health and safety obligations and re-focus them on their duty to provide safe workplaces," said Glenn Farrell, executive director of SafeWork SA, in a statement.

SafeWork SA will lead a state-wide awareness campaign to ensure employers understand the consequences of failing to protect workers' health and safety.

The campaign will include "extensive print and digital advertising," according to the SA government.

"There is no second chance with workplace incidents, so it is imperative employers maintain high standards in protecting their workers and others from risks to their health and safety," Farrell said.

The proposed legislation was introduced last year in SA, as part of an election commitment from the state government.

Recent articles & video

Can a client's directive dismiss a worker?

No continuity of service? Labour hire stint breaks worker's claim for long service leave

How can non-compete clauses hurt employers?

'Quiet vacationing': Are your employees working remotely from holiday locations?

Most Read Articles

'Right to disconnect' hits Australia: Everything you need to know about new legislation

Director 'forces’ manager to leave before end of notice period: Is it dismissal?

FWC awards compensation despite worker's poor performance, attendance