Industrial Manslaughter Should be a Crime: SA Greens

Greens Industrial Relations spokesperson Tammy Franks MLC will introduce a Bill to State Parliament seeking to create an offence of ‘industrial manslaughter’ in SA in the next sitting week.

Greens Industrial Relations spokesperson Tammy Franks MLC will introduce a Bill to State Parliament seeking to create an offence of ‘industrial manslaughter’ in SA in the next sitting week.

Ms Franks made the announcement earlier today – on World Day for Safety & Health at Work – following a Workers’ Memorial Day Service organised by Voice of Industrial Death (VOID) and held at Pilgrim Uniting Church.

“South Australia needs specific laws to protect employees and prevent employers from taking shortcuts that may endanger workers’ lives,” Ms Franks said.

“This Bill seeks to capture a very small minority of employers who cruelly put their workers through unnecessary risk and would only apply in the event that an employee tragically dies and circumstances warrant this remedy.

“Industrial Manslaughter is a law that I think would reflect community expectations that making your living shouldn’t cause your death.

“185 workplace deaths occurred in 2014, and 13 of those were in SA.

“Not all would be captured by an industrial manslaughter charge – this proposed law is unashamedly a ‘stick’ rather than a carrot – but a punitive approach is appropriate when a person has been killed due to negligence.

“We need to set a higher standard through our workplace laws to deter negligent employers. A fine of up to $1,000,000 and up to 20 years of imprisonment would set that expectation,” Ms Franks concluded.

Within the Bill, an employer is guilty of an offence if:
– The employer breaches their duty of care;
– The employer knew, or was recklessly indifferent, that the act or omission constituting the breach would create a substantial risk of serious harm to a person; and
– The breach causes the death of a person.

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