As the leading voice for the building and construction industry, Master Builders Victoria participated in yesterday’s inaugural meeting of the State Government’s new workplace manslaughter taskforce.

“Master Builders recognises the Andrews Government’s well-publicised determination to create a new criminal offence of workplace manslaughter, in line with its pre-election commitments,” Master Builders Victoria CEO Rebecca Casson said.

“As a result of our appointment to the workplace manslaughter taskforce, Master Builders has an opportunity to actively contribute to the discussion and advocate for any new workplace fatalities laws to be fit for purpose,” Ms Casson said.

“Comprising representatives from unions, business and importantly, victims’ families, the taskforce will need to balance the clear imperative of enforcing workplace safety, with legislation that is also fair and reasonable,” she said.

“Master Builders is committed to the highest standards of workplace safety.

“History tells us that too many workers have lost their lives on Victorian worksites and we acknowledge those devastating losses and the impacts for their families and loved ones,” Ms Casson said. “One death is one too many, and we must all work toward safer workplaces.”

“Everyone is responsible for safety and there is no doubt that people who are culpable in the workplace should – and must – be held to account.

“However, we also believe that culpability is not an issue to be considered lightly given the ramifications for those who find themselves accused,” Ms Casson said.

“This is only the start of a long and important conversation,” Ms Casson said.  “Master Builders looks forward to being a constructive contributor to the discussion, which must ultimately deliver an equitable and practical outcome for everyone.”