Monday, 28 May 2018

“Master Builders Victoria considers that workplace safety is a key priority for the organisations that we represent and any initiatives that are directed at genuinely increasing safety in workplaces in Victoria are supported. However, we do not consider that the concept of Industrial Manslaughter laws as announced by the Victorian Government this weekend will achieve those aims,” Radley de Silva, CEO Master Builders Victoria, said.

“The announcement on Saturday from the Andrews Labor Government that, if re-elected, they will legislate for industrial manslaughter under the Victorian OHS Act is totally ideologically driven and flies in the face of Victoria’s improved safety performance over the past decade.”

“The proposed industrial manslaughter offences announced by Premier Andrews on the weekend will provide penalties of up to 20 years jail or up to $16m in fines (more than four times the current maximum penalty).”

“Advocates of industrial manslaughter rules ignore the fact that there are already laws in place to prosecute employers, senior managers and workers who are negligent in providing for the safety of people in workplaces,” he said.

“Current criminal offences like manslaughter already provide avenues to prosecute those that cause workplace deaths.”

“We don’t need new laws, but effective clarification and enforcement of the occupational health and safety laws that already exist,” Mr de Silva said.

“It appears that the creation of this new law is not aimed at improved compliance and safer workplaces but is instead punitive-focused, not safety-focused as safety laws should be.”

“There is no denying that safety issues are of the utmost importance to our members, but solutions need to be practical and effective, not rhetorical,” he said.

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