The Work Health and Safety Bill 2019 (WA) has been introduced to the WA Legislative Assembly. Unlike other jurisdictions with one single charge of industrial/workplace manslaughter, WA is attempting to introduce two separate charges for industrial manslaughter under sections 30A and 30B of the Bill.
30A – ‘Industrial Manslaughter – Crime’
The highest penalty for a WHS offence with imprisonment of 30 years and a fine of $5m for an individual or $10m for a body corporate. Prosecutions will be handled by the Department of Public Prosecutions and heard in the District Court. A higher standard of proof of evidence is required to establish a person engaged in conduct that caused the death of an individual if knowing the conduct was likely to result in death and in ‘disregard of the likelihood’.
30B – ‘Industrial Manslaughter – Simple Offence’
A lesser penalty for a WHS offence with imprisonment of 10 years and a fine of $2.5m for an individual or $5m for a body corporate. Simpler elements of proof of evidence is required and cases heard in the Magistrate’s Court.
Also, similar to the recent WHS Bill is NSW, WA has introduced under section 272A that an individual or body corporate insurance policy cannot be used for WHS fines