27 September 2018
Latest out of Australia
Several states in Australia have, are about to, or are considering introducing industrial manslaughter provisions into their State safety legislation. As a result the Australian Federal Government is now looking to introduce industrial manslaughter provisions into Federal Legislation to ensure consistency between federal and state laws.
Dropping out of this change is the introduction of the term 'senior officer', which is possibly the CEO. So we could see Chief Executives and other 'officers'; being afforded different levels of accountability. This is certainly being reflected in the prosecution of workers in Australia who fail to meet their obligations under the Australian safety legislation. Although some would argue this is simply the pendulum moving to a more equitable position where workers failures are now recognised.
Given that Pike River remain very much front and centre in the news, the change in decision to look to prosecute Pike River Director, the continuing number of workplace deaths in New Zealand, and the Employment Relations Amendment Bill that would return a lot of power and voice to unions, it is not inconceivable to think that New Zealand could look to follow Australian States and amend the HSWA to include an industrial manslaughter provision. Certainly we should expect to see workers being prosecuted for failing to meet their safety obligations .
Number of workplace injuries between Mar 17 to Mar 18 - 3,449