Violators to be fined up to 15 million or imprisoned up to 20 years
Workplace safety legislation in Victoria, Australia, has been changed so that businesses and officers whose negligent conduct causes a workplace death may be guilty of workplace manslaughter.
Guilty companies, associations or partnerships will be fined up to 15 million while sole traders and officers who violate the law could face up to 20 years of prison time.
A person or a business will be guilty of workplace manslaughter if they engage in negligent conduct that breaches an occupational health and safety (OHS) duty owed to another person and that conduct causes the death of the other person.
For a person or business to be guilty, the law requires "a great falling short of the standard of care that would have been taken by a reasonable person in the circumstances" where there is a high risk of death, serious injury or serious illness. The provisions of the law apply to the death of workers and other persons, provided that the death arose from the breach of an OHS duty owed to them.