Your Duty as a Director

Did you know that in some states in Australia, Officers of businesses can be sent to prison for Industrial Manslaughter? Do you know what your “Due Diligence” duties are?

What does industrial manslaughter mean?

  • A Senior officer of a PCBU can be prosecuted and heavily fined under Industrial Manslaughter legislation if:
  • a worker dies, or is injured and later dies, in the course of carrying out work for the business or undertaking (including during a work break); and
  • the PCBU’s, or senior officer’s, conduct cause the death of the worker (i.e. the action or inaction of the PCBU, or senior officer, substantially contributes to the death); and
  • the PCBU, or senior officer, is negligent about causing the death of the worker (i.e. the person’s action or inaction departs so far from the standard of care required).
  • Under the laws, the maximum penalty for industrial manslaughter will be 20 years imprisonment for an individual, with a maximum fine of $10 million for a corporate offender.

Legislation History

The principal contractor involved in the tragic deaths of two construction workers at Eagle Farm Racecourse almost two years ago was been fined $405,000, for breaches of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act).

Two men and two women were killed on the Thunder River Rapids ride at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast when the ride malfunctioned, throwing two people out and trapping two inside. Dreamworld’s parent company Ardent Leisure could be fined up to $3 million if it is prosecuted and found criminally liable over the theme park ride tragedy in 2016.

Fox Safety Consulting can provide you as an Officer of a business, with the tools, training and support to fulfil your Workplace Health and Safety “due diligence” duties.

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