Queensland’s Industrial regulator has launched its first prosecution under the QLD industrial manslaughter laws.
The prosecutor has moved to prosecute Brisbane Auto Recycling Pty Ltd under the WHS Act 2011. In addition to this separate charges have been made against the two company directors for engaging in ‘reckless conduct’ resulting in a workplace fatality.
The Minister for Industrial Relations, Grace Grace said, ‘I have been advised by the independent WHS Prosecutor that he has initiated the industrial manslaughter and reckless conduct proceedings in relation to a workplace fatality which occurred earlier this year….Just over two years ago, the Palaszczuk Government introduced tough new laws aimed at protecting Queensland workers. These laws are about saving lives and ensuring all Queenslanders return home to their loved ones after a day’s work. They are the first of their kind to be introduced by a state jurisdiction and leave negligent employers culpable in workplace deaths with nowhere to hide. Individuals guilty of industrial manslaughter will face up to 20 years imprisonment, with corporate offenders liable for fines of up to $10 million.’
The fatality occurred 17th May 2019, when a worker was struck by a reversing forklift at a wrecking yard in Rocklea QLD.
The WHS Prosecutor Aaron Guilfoyle said, ‘After careful consideration, I decided to take action against the company and its directors. This the first prosecution for industrial manslaughter in Queensland and is the result of a comprehensive investigation into the fatality. The charge of industrial manslaughter includes allegations that Brisbane Auto Recycling caused the death of their worker by failing to effectively separate pedestrians from mobile plant, and failed to effectively supervise workers, including the operators of mobile plant. The charges against (the Directors) relate to their failure as directors to ensure that the business had those systems in place.’
Charges will be mentioned in the Holland Park Magistrates Court 1st November 2019