Work should be rewarding, enriching and the basis of our families’, communities’ and state’s welfare and prosperity. Workplace laws should be fair and protect all workers from unjust treatment and unsafe conditions. Every worker has the right to a safe and healthy workplace and all workers are entitled to expect to be able to return home from work safe and well.
Unfortunately, this is far too often not the case. On average one person is fatally injured in a workplace every 19 days in Western Australia. This tragic statistic has remained relatively stable over the last sixteen years. Given the persistence of deaths and injuries in Western Australian workplaces it is clear that reform is needed to address this unacceptable situation and reduce the number of people dying during the course of their work.
As a lawyer, and a former industrial officer, Alison is well aware of the impacts these tragedies have on families and loved ones. Accordingly, she has introduced the Criminal Code Amendment (Industrial Manslaughter) Bill 2017 into Parliament. This Bill seeks to ensure that culpable employers are held responsible for workers’ deaths. It overcomes difficulties in holding directors criminally responsible by explicitly creating an offence of Industrial Manslaughter.