You can’t make this stuff up. The Andrews Government is actually menacing employers about OHS of all things! “We’ll make sure you face the consequences” the WorkSafe television ad threatens, informing us that workplace manslaughter is now a jailable offence. This coming from a government that has presided over the largest OHS catastrophe in Australian history!
On 1 July the Andrews Government introduced a new criminal offence of workplace manslaughter into occupational health and safety laws.
According to WorkSafe Victoria:
“The new law aims to prevent workplace death, provide a stronger deterrent for duty holders to comply with their occupational health and safety obligations, and to send a strong message that putting people’s lives at risk in the workplace will not be tolerated.”
If convicted of workplace manslaughter the penalty for an individual is up to 25 years imprisonment. Again, according to WorkSafe Victoria:
“These penalties reflect the seriousness of the offence and are designed to help prevent workplace deaths by creating a strong deterrent for organisations and individual officers against breaching their occupational health and safety duties.“
What’s good for the goose must be good for the gander. Having set the standard, Dan Andrews must self-report to Victoria Police (on principle). As the head contractor for a hotel quarantine debacle that failed pretty much every OHS rule in the book and those failures resulting in the deaths of well over a hundred Victorians and counting he must “face the consequences“.
It was his government that developed the hotel quarantine system, awarded the contracts without tender, failed to competently oversee the system, and failed to act when breaches of the system were known. Lets consider Andrews performance against aspects of the Act:
For the purposes of workplace manslaughter, conduct will be considered ‘negligent’ if it involves:
- a great falling short of the standard of care that a reasonable person would have taken in the circumstances, and
- a high risk of death, serious injury or serious illness.
Negligent conduct also includes a failure to act (an ‘omission’), for example it may include when a person:
- does not adequately manage, control or supervise its employees, or
- does not take reasonable action to fix a dangerous situation, where failing to do so causes a high risk of death, serious injury or serious illness.
The test is based on the existing common law test for criminal negligence in Victoria, and is an appropriately high standard considering the significant penalties for the new offence.
- Outsourcing a life and death quarantine system to King street bouncers / door bitches falls woefully short a standard of care even a moron would have undertaken in the circumstances. NEGLIGENT.
- Entrusting an industry not exactly associated with high standards of eduction, zero training in infectious diseases, and not exactly known for its stellar ethics and integrity, was always going to result in a high risk of death or serious injury. NEGLIGENT.
- The government manifestly failed to manage, control or supervise its outsourced contracts (i.e. being the head contractor) made worse by the fact it entered into contracts without a tender process that should have addressed critical OHS issues, all of which compounded the original negligence of outsourcing quarantine to firms that were unqualified and unsuitable in the first place. NEGLIGENT.
- The government was allegedly aware of non-compliant activity and breaches in hotel quarantine arrangements as early as April but manifestly failed to fix the dangerous situation it had enabled through its hopelessly flawed design. NEGLIGENT.
If the Andrews Government was a public company Dan Andrews and his dodgy Ministers would be facing 25 year jail terms under his own legislation. Whats the bet the laws don’t apply to government (politicians or bureaucrats)! What is happening in Victoria is a result of criminal negligence. Dan Andrews: walk the walk and face the consequences you demand of everyone else. Self report today!