Workers in Queensland will have better protection under a new health and safety law for industrial manslaughter, which penalises guilty employers of up to more than $13 million in penalties.
A senior officer may also be liable for the immediate death of an employee due to negligence, or when the individual dies from their sustained injuries. When found guilty, the at-fault senior officer faces 20 years of prison. Senior officers are those who are part of a corporation’s management from low-level managers to the chief executive officer.
If you own a restaurant, you can prevent accidents such as slips, trip and falls by having ergonomic kitchen mats on a busy workspace. According to Safe Work Australia, these three types of accidents claimed the lives of almost 390 workers between 2003 and 2015.
Many of them may have suffered from serious injuries before their death. While human error can be blamed for some cases, Safe Work cited environmental factors as the main cause of slip, trip and fall accidents for 56% of the time. For the restaurant industry, these factors may include slippery floors or poorly designed kitchen spaces.
Other State Laws
In 2004, the Australian Capital Territory became the first state in the country to implement industrial manslaughter laws. Queensland’s decision to revise its own rules means that ACT-based employers should comply with the changes.
The state’s updated workplace health and safety regulation now covers fatalities even if it occurred during work breaks. The stricter policies and stiffer penalties may help in lowering the workplace death toll, which reaches around 50 cases every year in Queensland.
The steep fine should serve as a good enough reason for employers to review their workplace safety policies. Since many injuries may cause death among workers later on, companies should invest in equipment that keeps the job environment free from hazards.