In 2017 the QLD Work Health and Safety Laws were revised to introduce stronger legal protections for workers by introducing criminal penalties under the new “Industrial manslaughter” laws. These laws are the first of their kind to be introduced by a state jurisdiction, and they leave negligent employers culpable in workplace deaths and introduce heavy criminal penalties, for both individuals and corporate offenders. This the first prosecution for industrial manslaughter in Queensland, and the two directors have had charges laid.
“(These laws) are the first of their kind to be introduced by a state jurisdiction and leave negligent employers culpable in workplace deaths with nowhere to hide”
Allegations were that a Brisbane Auto recycling plant caused the death of the worker by failing to effectively manage traffic on their site.
- By separating pedestrians from moving mobile plant, and the
- Inadequate supervision of workers.
What does this mean for your workplace?
If your site uses moving mobile plant, e.g. forklifts, then you should consider:
- Observing the movements of your plant
- Identifying those areas where pedestrians are at risk of being struck
- Are your walkways and crossings in the right place, and are people using them?
- Restricting pedestrian access to certain site areas, e.g. warehouse loading/unloading areas
- Can you minimise forklift movements by reorganising the site layout or using conveyor systems?
- Holding toolbox sessions/team meetings regarding responsibilities of pedestrians and forklift operators, e.g. movements near forklifts, eye contact, safe phone use
- Consider how workers, drivers, and other stakeholders can be involved in consultative processes to promote idea exchange and buy-in for more effective risk management
Follow this link to read the full statement released by the Honorable Grace Grace: http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2019/10/25/first-prosecution-under-queenslands-pioneering-industrial-manslaughter-laws