The Federal ALP has promised to negotiate with State Governments to introduce harmonised industrial manslaughter laws.

This announcement follows the introduction of the Work Health and Safety (Industrial Manslaughter) Amendment Bill 2019 (Bill) by the South Australian Greens Party.

The Bill proposes jail terms of up to 20 years for company officers or employers, who knew, or ought reasonably to have known, or were recklessly indifferent as to whether a breach of the primary duty of care would create a substantial risk of serious harm, if the breach causes a death.

The maximum fine for breaches of the proposed Bill is $1 million, falling short of the $10 million maximum fine in Queensland.

Summary of industrial manslaughter laws across Australia

At present, only two of eight States and Territories have industrial manslaughter laws in place, but the announcement by the Federal ALP and the efforts made by State ALP Governments and the Greens have ensured that this topic remains firmly in the public consciousness.

A Federal ALP victory at the upcoming Federal could shift momentum, even in Liberal-led States.