The Queensland Government is in the middle of a debate in Parliament and the media about the introduction of industrial manslaughter as an offence related to serious occupational health and safety (OHS) breaches. It is both a good and a bad time for this debate. The laws are likely to pass but the debate is showing old arguments, weak arguments, political expediency and union-bashing but not a lot about improvement in workplace safety.
Following two major fatal workplace incidents, in April 2017 the Government established an independent inquiry into its safety regulations. That inquiry’s final report in July 2017 included a recommendation for