NSW government to introduce industrial manslaughter offence – 25-year jail term and $20 million fine for worker deaths

The NSW Government will introduce a bill in this sitting of parliament to create the offence of industrial manslaughter which allows for a maximum penalty of 25 years jail for an individual or $20 million in fines for a body corporate.

NSW is the last mainland state without an industrial manslaughter offence.

The government has consulted widely across the community including work health and safety experts, business groups, unions, legal stakeholders, and families of people who have been killed at work and has incorporated that feedback into the creation of the new offence and penalties.

Industrial manslaughter laws will allow for a business or individual to be held responsible for the death of a person due to gross negligence in the workplace.

The current maximum penalty for the highest form of offence under the WHS Act – Category 1 is 5 years imprisonment for an individual or a $3.8 million fine for a body corporate.

A unit will be established in the NSW Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions that will be responsible for the prosecution of industrial manslaughter offences against individuals and, where appropriate, related bodies corporate.