Printers brace for Vic workplace manslaughter laws
Controversial new laws being pushed through by the Victorian government on workplace fatalities could have a potentially devastating impact on print business owners, including 20 years jail and $16m in fines.
Under the proposed legislation, which would amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic), business owners could be personally liable for manslaughter charges if a staff member dies while working.
There is much controversy surrounding the plan, which business leaders fear could make them responsible and liable even when they have taken all necessary and required steps to ensure workplace safety.
Andrew Macaulay, CEO of the PIAA said, “The Victorian Government faced strong pressure from unions to legislate workplace manslaughter prior to the Victorian election held in November last year.”
Macaulay said, “It now wants to introduce a criminal offence of workplace manslaughter for company owners. This will affect members in printing, publishing and visual communications.
“It is of significant importance to Victorian employers, and PIAA is at the coalface of discussions with Government to protect printers. My team and I will be at PrintEx to discuss this with industry, and we encourage all Victorian printers to talk with PIAA.”
Workplace fatalities in the print, packaging and publishing industries are rare; however, two years ago one person died and two others were injured when an ink mixer undergoing maintenance at a DIC plant was accidentedly started, and last year two workers at the Norske Skog plant in Albury were fatally poisoned through escaping gas.