ACT enacts tougher laws to boost worker safety

Thursday, 01 July, 2021

ACT enacts tougher laws to boost worker safety

Canberra workers will be better protected and negligent employers will face harsher penalties under law changes made by the ACT Government. The ACT Legislative Assembly will be amended to make industrial manslaughter an offence under ACT work health and safety laws, with Industrial Relations and Workplace Safety Minister Mick Gentleman stating that stronger industrial manslaughter legislation will help prevent workplace tragedies and remind employers of their obligations.

“This change will also give families of those killed in the workplace better access to justice and provide more avenues to address poor workplace safety practices and systemic non-compliance,” said Minister Gentleman.

The new offence will carry an imprisonment penalty of up to 20 years for individuals and $16,500,000 for corporations who cause the death of a worker through continued disregard of safe work practices and breaches of work safety obligations. Industrial manslaughter offence provisions will be transferred from the Crimes Act 1990 into the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

“We are delivering on the government’s commitment to strengthen workplace safety across the ACT and standing up for the rights of workers,” said Minister Gentleman.

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