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Unions welcome announcement on tougher penalties for workplace deaths

January 21, 2018

SA Unions has today welcomed news from the State Government that, if elected at the next election, it will legislate to increase penalties for offences that cause workplace deaths.

State Secretary Joe Szakacs (pron sock-arch) says the current laws are totally inadequate.

“We don’t currently have a law relating to causing an industrial death.

“As the law stands at the moment, even if an employer or a director of a company is found criminally liable for a workplace death, they can only be found guilt of the lesser crime of exposing a person to harm.

“Unions have been fighting for years for tougher penalties around deaths at work.

“We have always believed that if someone if found criminally liable for a workplace death, it should be treated like criminal neglect or dangerous and reckless driving.”

In 2017, there were 175 nationally and every death is one too many.

“Bosses who are found to have contributed through their negligence to the death of one of their workers should be punished with the full force of the new laws.

Under the proposed new laws, the maximum penalty for the new offence will be 20 years imprisonment with a maximum fine of $10m for a corporation.

“This should send a clear message to bosses and companies: if you cost someone their life, you will pay.

“Working people are now calling on the Liberals, SA Best and all those standing for Parliament to support this crucial legislation.”