Prosecutions

There have been no new prosecutions announced in Victoria since last week - check WorkSafe's Prosecution Result Summaries and Enforceable Undertakings webpage if you want to check before next week's journal.

QLD: New manslaughter charge 

A Queensland business owner could be jailed for up to 20 years, after becoming the first individual to be charged with industrial manslaughter since the offence came into effect in late 2017. A business has been charged with category-2 WHS breaches in relation to the same incident.

Jeffrey Owen, of Owen's Electric Motor Rewinds in Gympie, has been charged with one offence under section 34C ("Industrial manslaughter–person conducting business or undertaking") of the State Work Health and Safety Act 2011.  The business repaired generators and electric motors

It has been alleged that in July last year, Owen negligently caused the death of a worker at his business premises. It has been reported that Owen was involved in overloading a forklift, which subsequently flipped over and struck the worker.

Shortly after the incident, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland issued an alert stating that a worker had been fatally crushed by a portable generator being unloaded from a truck by a forklift.

Owen faces a maximum penalty of 20 years' imprisonment. The company has been charged with breaching sections 19 ("Primary duty of care") and 32 ("Failure to comply with health and safety duty–category 2") of the WHS Act, which carry a maximum penalty of $1.5 million. Source: OHSAlert

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