Appendix 3

Consolidated table of differences in Commonwealth, state and territory work health and safety laws

Model Work Health and Safety Act, s 31(1) reckless conduct offence?
Work Health and Safety Act or equivalent max penalties
Industrialmanslaughter criminal offence?
Industrial manslaughtermax penalty
General manslaughter offence max penalty
Cth
Yes
$300,000 or 5 years imprisonment for an individual, $600,000 or 5 years imprisonment for an individual as a person or officer conducting a business or undertaking, $3 million for a body corporate
No
N/A
ACT
Yes
As above
Yes – Crimes Act 1900
(ACT) ss 49C-49D –
industrial manslaughter employer and senior officer offences
2 000 penalty units ($300,000 for an individual, $1.5 million for a corporation), imprisonment 20 years or both
20 years imprisonment or
28 years imprisonment (aggravated offence)
NSW
Yes
As above
No
N/A
25 years imprisonment
NT
Yes
As above
No
N/A
Life imprisonment
Qld
Yes
As above
Yes – Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld) s 34C
– industrial manslaughter – person conducting business or undertaking and s 34D – industrial manslaughter – senior officer
20 years imprisonment for an individual or 100 000 penalty units for a body corporate ($10 million)
Life imprisonment
SA
Yes
As above
No
N/A
Life imprisonment
Tas
Yes
As above
No
N/A
21 years imprisonment, or by fine, or both.
Vic
No – has Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic) s 32 offence – duty not to recklessly endanger persons at workplaces
1,800 penalty units ($285,426) or 5 years imprisonment for an individual, 20,000 penalty units for a body corporate ($3,171.400)
No
N/A
20 years imprisonment
WA
No – has Occupation Safety and Health Act 1984 (WA) offences relating to breaches of duties in circumstances of gross negligence or breaches that cause death of, or serious harm to an employee, by employers, body corporates and persons who have control of workplaces
Gross negligence offences
For individuals: $250,000 fine and imprisonment for 2 years for a first offence, $312,500 fine and imprisonment for 2 years for a subsequent offence
For body corporates: $500,000 fine for a first offence, $625,000 fine for a subsequent offence
Breach of duty causing death or serious harm to an employee
For individuals: $200,000 fine for a first offence,
$250,000 for a subsequent offence
For body corporates:
$400,000 fine for a first offence
$500,000 for a subsequent offence
No
N/A
Life imprisonment
Source: Law Council of Australia, Submission 3, pp. 9-10.

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