find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Tas considers industrial manslaughter law

Tas considers industrial manslaughter law

A CASE in Tasmania has highlighted the need for so-called industrial manslaughter offences to be introduced in the state, which would include jail sentences for employers found to have…

A CASE in Tasmania has highlighted the need for so-called industrial manslaughter offences to be introduced in the state, which would include jail sentences for employers found to have contributed to the death of an employee, according to the Australian Lawyers Alliance.

Tougher penalties for breaches of workplace safety rules, including jail terms for individuals, have been passed in several jurisdictions around Australia in the past two years.

The Tasmanian Law Reform Institute is now inquiring into whether Tasmania needs to introduce its own specific manslaughter offence for the workplace.

The Tasmanian president of the Australian Lawyers Alliance, Sandra Taglieri, said the $25,000 fine recently imposed on the Australian Food Group in the Launceston Magistrates Court following the death of 16-year-old Matthew Hudson while driving a forklift at work “is a startling illustration of the failings of our workplace safety laws”.

She said the modest fine showed there is “no proper incentive for employers to keep their workplaces safe”.

Although the fine in this case was less than 20 per cent of the maximum fine available under present Tasmanian law, Taglieri said there needed to be higher penalties available, including jail terms.

“What difference is there between a person negligently driving and causing a death in a motor vehicle accident, and a person’s negligence in the workplace causing the death of a worker?”

The ACT was the first to pass industrial manslaughter laws in Australia. These were in amendments to the territory’s Crimes Act and commenced in March last year. Under the “industrial manslaughter — senior officer offence” senior officers can be prosecuted where it is proven that their negligence or recklessness led to the death or serious injury of an employee under their supervision.

New South Wales was the latest state to pass similar laws, including fines for a first offence by a corporation of $1.65 million and maximum fines of $165,000 and/or a five year jail term for individuals held liable.

Mark Addison, a partner at Dibbs Abbott Stillman, said some argue against specific indictable offences for the workplace. Instead, they say, existing manslaughter laws should be applied.

However, if penalties are to be increased, he said, NSW’s approach of making changes to the existing OH&S laws is the more logical.

“The main criticism from the ACT Government when they were introducing their [industrial manslaughter] amendment to the Crimes Act was that the penalties in the OH&S Act were not strong enough. My view was just increase the penalties [rather than amend the Crimes Act].”

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Tas considers industrial manslaughter law
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
microphone
Oct 20 2017
Podcast: One of law’s most infamous alumni – in conversation with Julian Morrow
In this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Melissa Coade is joined by The Chaser’s Julian Morrow....
protest
Oct 20 2017
High Court overturns ‘excessive’ anti-protest legislation
Bob Brown’s recent victory in the High Court over the Tasmanian government was a win for fundament...
Blocked
Oct 20 2017
Changes to Australian citizenship laws blocked
Attempts to beef up the requirements to obtain Australian citizenship were thwarted this week, after...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...