MBT & TCCI Oppose Moves to Introduce Industrial Manslaughter

Release Date: 2/03/2018
The Master Builders Tasmania and Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry today jointly expressed opposition to introducing industrial manslaughter laws into Tasmania.

MBT Executive Director Michael Kerschbaum said industrial manslaughter provisions are not justified as a means to improving workplace health and safety.

“Nationally there has been a continued downward trend in work related fatalities with Safe Work Australia reporting a 37% decrease in recorded worker deaths from 2007 – 2015,” Mr Kerschbaum said.

“Tasmania’s results are even more impressive with the fatality rate falling from 8.2 in 2003 to around 3 over the past couple of years.”

TCCI Senior Workplace Relations Consultant Abbey George said an adequate penalty regime already exists under WHS legislation to address work related fatalities arising from reckless disregard by a person who owes a duty of care to a worker.

“Any deficiencies in the current system should be addressed as part of the upcoming review of the model WHS laws. This will ensure robust consultation and consistency of approach across the nation,” Mrs George said.

Both organisations believe the introduction of industrial manslaughter laws would engender excessive legalism and a “blame” culture as employers and workers would focus on defending themselves rather than working co-operatively and recognising that safety is a shared responsibility by all involved, including business owners, managers and employees.
For further comment contact: MBT Executive Director Michael Kerschbaum on 0438 343 810 or 6210 2000

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