Industrial manslaughter legislation, officially known as The Workplace Safety Legislation Amendment (Workplace Manslaughter and other matters) Bill 2019, passed Parliament on 26 November 2019. It should come into effect no later than 1 July 2020.
As an employer, I’m sure we’d all agree, you have a responsibility to look after staff working in your business; you have to make sure they can do their work safely.
So, what are the practical steps you can take to ensure your people are safe?
The 6 Key Actions To Protect Your People
- Provide and maintain safe plant (machinery and equipment).
- Provide and maintain safe systems of work (for example, controlling entry to high risk areas and providing systems to prevent falls from heights).
- Ensure the safe use, handling, storage or transport of plant or substances.
- Keep workplaces that you manage and control in a safe condition, free of risks to health. For example, ensure fire exits aren’t blocked, and the worksite is generally tidy.
- Provide suitable facilities for welfare at any workplace you manage and control.
- Finally, give your employees the necessary information, instruction, training or supervision to enable them to do their work in a way that is safe and without risks to health.
Oh, and by the way, just doing these things isn’t enough, as far as the law is concerned! You have to be able to show you’re doing them.
Industrial Manslaughter Cases In The News
While trends are improving over recent years, companies still need to do more in order to protect their staff and stay on the right side of the law.
This topic is in the news right now: On Friday 17th May last year, a worker was killed after being struck by a reversing forklift at a wrecking yard in Rocklea, Queensland. This was an unimaginable tragedy for the worker, for his family and friends, for co-workers and for the business. As a result, the owner of the business has been charged with industrial manslaughter. That case is now going through the courts. If convicted, the business owner faces up to 20 years in prison.
And don’t assume it is just about such dramatic accidents. workplace manslaughter may apply even when the death of the person occurs long after the relevant incident (think exposure to Asbestos without adequate protection).
Don’t Be The Next Industrial Manslaughter News Item
Secure Your Peace Of Mind! Actually there’s lots you can do to make sure that
- you are protecting your people,
- and you can show you are if you’re audited.
Even better, did you know that we can help you be audit-ready and conduct your own audit process so that you know for sure that you’re doing all the right things?
What is that peace of mind worth to you?