Victoria has passed the Workplace Safety Legislation Amendment (Workplace Manslaughter and Other Matters) Bill 2019 (Vic). The Bill amends the current Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic).
The Bill introduces under section 39G that ‘a person must not engage in negligent conduct that breaches an applicable duty owed to another person and causes the death of that person’. The maximum fine is now $16,522,000 and up to 20 years imprisonment. Please note there is now no statute of limitations on being charged with an industrial manslaughter (‘IM’) offence.
Negligence under section 39E is now defined as: ‘a great falling short of the standard of care that would have been taken by a reasonable person in the circumstances in which the conduct was engaged in’; and ‘causes a high risk of death, serious injury or serious illness’. The Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) has been amended to include IM charges within sections 35A-35B and the Victorian criminal procedural framework governed by the Criminal Procedure Act 2009 (Vic) has also received an amendment to section 327M(2)(f)(fa-fb).