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New Workplace Manslaughter Offences

The new criminal offence of workplace manslaughter, as introduced into the

Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) laws, takes effect 1 July 2020.

The new laws do not introduce any new duties under the OHS laws, but rather impose heavier penalties. A strong message is being sent that OHS is important.

It’s critical that an OC Manager and your OCs, understand duties imposed on them under this legislation and take serious the potential control held over the ‘workplace’ where there is risk to a person’s health or safety.

Remember common property may become a workplace when an OC’s contractor or the like, steps onto it to carry out its duties.

The new laws are pushing people in control to comply, with the expectation that you do what is ‘reasonably practicable’. Make the time to turn your mind to what the risks may be and what you can do to make sure that it doesn’t become a reality.

Recently one risk realised was the potential for a fire fighter to enter a building during a fire and lose their life due to faults in the fire protection system. Faults that prevented the system from working the way it was intended. What if the faults were known but not acted upon, not acted upon quick enough or not acted upon because it was too costly? In this situation what is timely action, what is the value of the repairs compared to a life?

You can hear more on these discussions by viewing the recent SCAV Webinar on Essential Safety Measures and find out more about your OHS obligations, and the duty of OCs and OC Managers under the OHS laws, by listening to the webinar Managing and Reporting on Risks. To be uploaded soon for your ready access.

In the meantime, you can find out more via the WorkSafe website. Watch a quick 20 minute overview presented by a panel of WorkSafe experts, and find out more about the new laws and those existing.

If you’re complying with the laws now, then you’ll be compliant 1 July.



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