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New laws will make employers more accountable for workers’ safety

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Lawyers have welcomed the Palaszczuk Government’s introduction of industrial manslaughter legislation.

Slater and Gordon Senior Lawyer Jason Monro said the new laws would ensure employers were more accountable for safety.

The Government’s Work Health and Safety and Other Legislation Amendment 2017 will mean tougher penalties and potential criminal action – including up to 20 years in prison – against employers who provide unsafe workplaces.  

“Until now what usually follows for these employers is a slap on the wrist and a fine, which is merely a drop in the ocean for large corporations." ​Mr Monro said. 

“These new proposed laws will see the duty holder face a maximum sentence of up to 20 years imprisonment under the Criminal Code. 

“The harsher penalties should serve as a warning to employers who choose to cut corners on workplace safety that you cannot hide behind corporate structures to avoid responsibility.”    

The legislation was prompted off the back of 58 recommendations made by a Best Practice Review of Workplace and Health and Safety Queensland, initiated after the horrific Dreamworld tragedy, which took place in October 2016.