The new Queensland industrial manslaughter provisions in the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 came into effect on 23 October 2017.
These provisions make it an offence for a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU), or a senior officer, to negligently cause the death of a worker. In particular, the offence applies if:
- A worker dies, or is injured and later dies, in the course of carrying out work for the business or undertaking; and
- The PCBU’s, or senior officer’s, conduct causes the death of the worker; and
- The PCBU, or senior officer, is negligent about causing the death of the worker.
Where a PCBU, or senior officer, commits industrial manslaughter, a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment for an individual, or $10 million for a body corporate applies, applies.
No insurance policy will cover any fine imposed under Section 34 of the Work Health and Safety Act, 2011. Any breaches will be criminal offences and cannot for public policy reasons be covered.
Various insurance policies may respond to assist insured’s where there are industrial manslaughter charges are laid. Relevant policies will include Management Liability, Associate Liability and Directors & Officers’ Liability policies. Cover may include the appointment of specialist panel lawyers, investigation costs and the advance payment of defence costs.
To learn more about the latest Industrial Manslaughter Laws please contact your broker or call 1300 305 834.