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Limebite 12/22

Proposed changes to SA Industrial Manslaughter laws: what employers need to know

Joe ParisiKatrina Fitzgerald
Authors (from left):

The South Australian government has released proposed amendments to the draft Work Health and Safety (Industrial Manslaughter) Amendment Bill for public comment.

The proposed legislation would see maximum prison terms of 20 years introduced for individuals and fines of $15M for companies found to have engaged in reckless conduct or grossly negligent conduct that breaches their work health and safety duty resulting in the death of a worker.

Under the proposed legislation, industrial manslaughter offences will not be subject to a 2-year statute of limitations.

It is intended that industrial manslaughter will be investigated by SafeWorkSA and tried in the South Australian Employment Court. This is consistent with current Work Health and Safety prosecutions in South Australia.

This legislation would bring South Australia in line with Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory. Each of those jurisdictions have industrial manslaughter laws in place, although none are identical in their provisions.

The first Bill relating to industrial manslaughter was brought to the South Australian Parliament in 2015. That Bill did not pass as it was considered that a new offence of industrial manslaughter was unnecessary due to the criminal offences already in place in this State.

Public comments will be received until 10 February 2023. Watch this space.

This publication constitutes a summary of the information of the subject matter covered. This information is not intended to be nor should it be relied upon as legal or any other type of professional advice. For further information in relation to this subject matter please contact the author.