WorkSafe launches new campaign promising harsher penalties

WorkSafe launches new campaign promising harsher penalties

The Victorian workplace safety regulator has launched a new campaign, warning businesses that they have tough new penalties to face if their negligence causes a workplace death.

Jill Hennessy, the Minister for Workplace Safety and WorkSafe Chief Executive, Colin Radford announced the new campaign on Thursday.

“With five workplace deaths already this year, the campaign is a timely reminder of the responsibility [of] all employers to ensure that their employees are safe at work,” Ms Hennessy said.

“Under the workplace manslaughter legislation, companies will face more than $16 million in fines, and individual employers responsible for a workplace death up to 20 years in jail,” she said.

The Victorian Government has agreed upon new industrial manslaughter legislation that will come into effect on the 1st of July 2020, with penalties to include a maximum of 20 years imprisonment for individuals or a maximum fine of $16.5 million for body corporates.

Ms Hennessy explained that the organisation is recruiting an additional 40 specialist inspectors to attend construction sites, with the construction industry being over-represented in fatality statistics yet again last year.

WorkSafe explained that “Putting people’s lives at risk in the workplace will not be tolerated. It’s every employer’s responsibility to make sure their employees stay safe at work and return home every day. If you fail to do your job, we’ll do ours, and make sure you face the law.”


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