Industrial Manslaughter and the Big Picture (2004)

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In 2004, the hottest occupational health and safety (OHS) topic was industrial manslaughter.  In Melbourne, there were seminars on the topic that easily topped 200 participants.  However it was also a year of confusion and fear, which may have accounted for the good seminar attendance figures.

At that time I was producing an online PDF Magazine and I devoted a whole edition to the topic. Now it is a time capsule of the issues and objections raised at the time which provide a useful context to the current debates. Here is my article on the issue from August 2004, slightly edited with links included, where possible. Continue reading “Industrial Manslaughter and the Big Picture (2004)”

Western Australia opens consultation on WHS laws

On June 28 2018 in the West Australian Parliament, the Minister for Commerce and Industrial Relations, Bill Johnston, progressed the State’s move to towards harmonised Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws.  According to Hansard, Johnston said

“Last July, I formed a ministerial advisory panel to advise on the development of a single, harmonised and comprehensive work health and safety act. The new act will cover all workplaces in Western Australia and be aligned with legislation in other Australian jurisdictions…..” (page 4146, emphasis added)

That WA will have new safety laws to cover all workplaces is a very good move;

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Talking about OHS could remove the need for Industrial Manslaughter laws

Gaby Grammeno has been writing about workplace health and safety (WHS) issues for longer than I have.  Her work for Workplace OHS, a subscription OHS news service, includes an “ask an expert” service and her latest is a comparison between the OHS/WHS laws involving “reckless endangerment” and “industrial manslaughter”.

The article is of interest to OHS people and reinforces some of the legal opinions on the proposed introduction of industrial manslaughter laws in Victoria.  There is disparity in sentencing and financial penalties in Queensland laws compared to potential Victorian ones and one includes “serious injuries” where the other addresses deaths.  But the issue of penalty sizes is a sideshow to the intended purpose of these types of laws – deterrence.

Will a penalty of A$3.8 million have a greater deterrent effect than A$3.1 million? 

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Dreamworld – this week and beyond

Managerial representatives of Dreamworld appeared at the second week of the inquest into the deaths of four patrons at the Australian theme park in 2016.  The week ended with Dreamworld’s parent company Ardent Leisure advising the Australian Securities Exchange of the departure of the current Chief Executive Officer, Craig Davidson. So what does this all mean?

Safety Management

Early last week, Dreamworld’s former safety manager, Mark

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