With South Australia this month flooring a bill to make industrial manslaughter a criminal offence, it brings the state into line with other jurisdictions in Australia, where similar laws are already in place.
The bill, if passed by parliament, will introduce section 268A to the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (SA). Under section 268A, where an individual or company is reckless or grossly negligent in conduct that breaches a duty of care, which results in the death of another person, the law imposes a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment or a fine of up to $18 million.
An example of action which may be deemed gross negligence under the new laws is a site operator repeatedly ignoring a clear hazard.
Elsewhere in Australia, industrial manslaughter laws are already being put to the test.