August 24th Webinar - Critical Concepts Under the Heavy Vehicle National Law Find Out More Here
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Webinar Summary – Industrial Manslaughter

Webinar summary – Industrial manslaughter

We had 150 people attend our latest LinkSafe Professional Development series webinar looking the impact of industrial manslaughter and reckless endangerment legislation on contractor safety management.

In this article
The elements that must be proven to make out a charge of industrial manslaughter are
The penalties include
The elements that must be proven to make out a charge of reckless endangerment include
Be more involved with your contractors

The elements that must be proven to make out a charge of industrial manslaughter are

  1. You owe a duty under safety legislation
    a. You are an officer of a corporation or the corporation itself – the charge does not apply to employees i.e., front line supervisors, managers or workers
    b. yes, you owe a duty of care to your contractor OVER MATTERS YOU CONTROL
  2. You have caused the death of a contractor
  3. Your conduct that caused the death involved grossly negligent conduct – the incident and your conduct is extremely serious

The penalties include

  1. Fines between $3m – $16m
  2. Up to 25 years jail time

The elements that must be proven to make out a charge of reckless endangerment include

  1. You owe a duty under safety legislation
    a. The charge applies to anyone including workers, front-line supervisors, and managers.
  2. You have exposed another person to or caused a serious injury or death
  3. You consciously considered the risk and took the risk anyway.
The interesting difference between the two is industrial manslaughter has higher penalties, but the culpability of an offender is lower i.e., you are only required to be proven negligent not reckless.
- Sue Bottrell

Be more involved with your contractors

So, our first impulse may be to get MORE involved with our contractors and MORE closely direct and supervise their work, when in fact we need to make sure we clearly hold them to account for managing their own risks and confirm that we rely on them to do so.

Where the risk lies to those who engage contractors is not failing to direct them in their work to ensure it is safe but failing to ensure we do not expose contractors to risk of death or severe injury through our instructions or operations. For example, directing a contractor to use unsafe equipment, directing a contractor to undertake work that is obviously unsafe.

The solution: ensure you establish the right relationship with your contractors through well drafted a prequalification that separates and allocates duties for management of safety between you and your contractors and make sure your onboarding processes provide information to protect contractors from your operations e.g., site traffic management, identifying exclusion areas and toxic environments.

Get in touch with us to make sure your online contractor management system does just that.

Our next session will focus on understanding critical concepts and terms under the Heavy Vehicle National Law with Denise Zumpe of COR Comply.