Special SEBN-SEMMA WH&S Session: New Industrial Manslaughter Laws - Friday...

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SEBN Network Meetings Announcement

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Greater Dandenong Council has made the decision that all non-essential events, workshops and programs will cease for the short-term.

All SEBN sessions will be rescheduled or delivered online.

Council is taking this step to contain the spread of the virus and reduce the risk to the health of all residents.

Please be assured we are doing everything we can to continue to deliver you a great series of networks content and opportunities for sharing and learning.

Council will work closely with businesses to resolve the situation.

If you have any questions, please contact the SEBN team on 8571 5323 or email SEBN@cgd.vic.gov.au.

Special SEBN-SEMMA Workplace Health & Safety Session - Friday 20 March

New Industrial Manslaughter Laws

Presenters: Christina Tsakiris and Annabelle Uebergang | Macpherson Kelley

According to Safe Work Australia’s most recent statistics, as at 27 February there have been 28 Australian workers killed at work this year. In 2019, 162 Australian workers were fatally injured while working - compared with 144 in 2018.

In response to high numbers of workplace casualties in Australia, Victoria is set to introduce the Workplace Safety Legislation Amendment (Industrial Manslaughter and Other Matters) Bill 2019 (Vic). These new workplace manslaughter laws are set to come into effect by 1 July 2020.

Penalties under the new regime are the toughest in Australian history, attracting fines of up to $16.5 million for companies, associations or partnerships found to be in breach. Additionally, sole traders or officers who contravene Victoria’s new legislative framework could face serious gaol time of up to 20 years. Victoria will become the third Australian jurisdiction to make industrial manslaughter a criminal offence.

The new laws will apply to officers whose actions or omissions:

  • Are negligent;

  • found to involve a breach of an occupational health and safety duty; or

  • cause the death of a worker or member of the public.

The negligence threshold jumps into action in circumstances where "a great falling short of the standard of care that would have been taken by a reasonable person in the circumstances" where a high risk of death, serious injury or serious illness are established.

The ins and outs of this test and how it applies to companies operating within Victoria will be examined throughout this session. Strategies will also be provided to attendees in order to ensure participants have the best chances of avoiding workplace disasters.

In light of the upcoming changes to the law, it is imperative that companies are aware of their obligations and strive to ensure the safety of their workers - or risk facing the consequences!

Christina Tsakiris, a Senior Associate within Macpherson Kelley’s Employment, Safety and Migration Team and Annabelle Uebergang, a lawyer within this team, are both experts in Victoria’s new legislative agenda, as well as how it differs from the positions in other Australian States and Territories. This session will offer companies an early insight into how Victoria’s industrial manslaughter laws are set to change, as well as the implications of those changes on employers.

For catering purposes, please RSVP no later than COB Wednesday 18 March.


Sandra George - Manager SEBN Ph: 8571 1576 Mobile: 0419 362 745

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