Unions applaud passing of new law of industrial manslaughter

Queensland unions say the new offence of industrial manslaughter passed today through Parliament will be a deterrent to make sure that companies don’t cut corners and put profits ahead of people.

Queensland Council of Unions General Secretary Ros McLennan said unions had long called for tougher sanctions to make sure dodgy bosses and their companies don’t just get a slap on the wrist if their negligent actions have led to a workplace fatality.

Last year in Queensland there were 40 workplace fatalities notified to authorities.

“There’s nothing more important than workers coming home safe after a day’s work,” said Ms McLennan.

Under the new laws passed through State Parliament today, the maximum penalty for industrial manslaughter will be 20 years imprisonment for an individual, with a maximum fine of $10 million for a corporate offender.

The LNP voted against the laws, as well as One Nation’s Steve Dickson.

“One Nation has shown it’s failing workers by voting against industrial manslaughter laws that make sure dodgy bosses are punished for operating unsafe workplaces where  their negligent actions have led to a workplace fatality,” said Ms McLennan.

“Workers know that the LNP has little interest in improving workplace safety but it also shows Pauline Hanson and her One Nation party are no friend of Queensland workers.”

Queensland is now the first state in Australia to have industrial manslaughter laws. The Australian Capital Territory also has similar laws.

The new offence was one of 58 recommendations from a wide-ranging review into workplace deaths, to which unions made numerous submissions.