Tough new penalties to ensure safety comes first in Queensland mines
20 May 2020
Maurice Blackburn State Managing Principal Rod Hodgson has welcomed the introduction of industrial manslaughter laws for the mining industry which have been passed by the Queensland Parliament today.
“These important new laws bring workplace protections for mining and quarry workers into line with other workers in the State, establishing Australia’s toughest regime of work health and safety laws and regulations.
“Recent deaths and serious injuries in the Queensland mining sector once again highlighted the need for these laws and I commend the Government for taking decisive action despite significant pressure from mining sector bosses for these laws to be shelved or watered down.
“The ability for senior officers of mines or quarry companies to be tried for industrial manslaughter is an essential step in ensuring workplace safety and preventing further fatalities in the mining sector.
“For too long mining sector bosses have argued that they deserve special treatment and should not be subject to the same laws as every other Queensland business.
“Safety logos on T-shirts and company rhetoric about safety is no substitute for a lived culture of safety as a non-negotiable element of all workplaces.
“Under the Government’s tough new laws new maximum penalties of 20 years imprisonment for individuals and maximum fines of more than $13 million for corporate offenders now apply.
“The message is now clear that if a Queensland mine worker dies as a result of an employer’s negligence then they can expect severe financial penalties and significant jail time can follow,” he said.
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