The Territory Labor Government willintroduce industrial manslaughter laws in the September Sittings, with the viewto have them debated by the end of year.
Should these laws be passed byparliament, industrial manslaughter will be an offence in the Territory by theend of the year.
This offence will ensure all businesses,regardless of the business size, face the same level of penalty if reckless ornegligent conduct has caused a workplace fatality.
Currently, only individuals can becharged with manslaughter for a workplace fatality under the NorthernTerritorys Criminal Code. This means an individual operating a small businessas a sole trader can face a maximum penalty of life in prison, however there isno equivalent penalty for a body corporate.
The maximum penalty for an individual isimprisonment for life whether the individual is prosecuted under the existingor new manslaughter offence.
Once enacted, the Territory joins QLDand the ACT as the only jurisdictions to have an industrial manslaughteroffence.
The offence will not be appliedretrospectively.
The introduction of the Work Health andSafety Legislation Amendment (Industrial Manslaughter) Bill 2019 is also a keyrecommendation from the Best Practice review of workplace health and safety in the NTconducted by Mr Tim Lyons.
As noted by Attorney-General NatashaFyles:
“The rates of deaths and injuries atTerritory worksites have been too high for too long.
“Territory workers have a right to go towork and return home safely.
“These laws will help protectTerritorians at their place of work, and mean employers are on notice aboutunsafe practices and sites.
“Introducing this offence is just oneelement in a suit of reforms the Labor Government is undertaking to enhanceworker safety in the Territory.
“I look forward to the parliamentdebating and passing these laws so Territorians can feel safe at work.”