The Victorian Government is delivering on an election promise by making workplace manslaughter a criminal offence in Victoria. Employers who negligently cause a workplace death will now face fines of up to $16.5 million and individuals will also face up to 20 years in prison. These new laws also apply when an employer’s negligent conduct causes the death of a non-employee.
Reducing workplace fatality
As of July 2nd, 91 Australian workers have tragically been killed at work in 2020, including 25 Victorians. This includes fatalities that occur on the road while working, suicides associated with workplace health and safety failure, deaths from industrial diseases and deaths resulting from a criminal workplac act.
These new laws are sending a clear message to employers that putting lives at risk will not be tolerated. The goal of these new laws is to not only minimise fatalities but also encourage a safety-first culture where all Victorians are safe in, and around workplaces.
“We’re standing up for working people – and better protecting those touched by tragedy – because workers deserve a safe environment when they go to work each and every day.” – Jill Hennessy (Minister for Workplace Safety)
Road trauma – the greatest risk of all
Road accidents are the number one cause of death in the workplace. In 2018, 31% of worker fatalities were as a result of road trauma. Although road accidents don’t occur as frequently as minor workplace incidences, the risk of having staff out on the road is the greatest workplace risk of all in terms of fatality.
By regularly educating and training staff on road safety, organisations will not only be minimising the risk of an accident but also demonstrating careful conduct.
Protecting your workplace with driver training
The Victorian Government is helping small and medium-sized businesses prepare for the new laws through an education campaign. It is not only important that employers are aware of the new laws, but are also taking action to protect themselves and their staff.
At Corporate Driver Training Australia, we help corporate organisations across Australia and New Zealand to create a safe working environment by educating their staff on road safety. We believe that embedding a positive road safety culture in your workplace is as important as ever. It could mean the difference between a minor and a fatal incident within your workplace.
Learn more about our low-risk driving courses here.