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Norman Waterhouse

Industrial manslaughter laws to apply in South Australia from 1 July 2024

Changes to South Australian work health and safety legislation introduced by the Work Health and Safety (Industrial Manslaughter) Amendment Act 2023 (the Amendment Act) will come into operation on 1 July 2024.

The Amendment Act will amend the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (SA) (the Act) to introduce the offence of ‘industrial manslaughter’. Under the Amendment Act, individuals can face a penalty of up to 20 years imprisonment, and companies that commit an offence can face a fine of up to $18 million dollars if they engage in reckless or grossly negligent conduct which breaches their work health and safety duties, and results in the death of another person.

These new laws bring South Australia into line with other jurisdictions which have made industrial manslaughter an offence, including the Australian Capital Territory, the Northern Territory, Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales.

For workplace incidents that attract a charge of industrial manslaughter as well as other charges under the Act brought in connection with an industrial manslaughter charge, all charges will be heard in the Magistrates Court, rather than the South Australian Employment Court, which typically has jurisdiction to hear charges under the Act.

Employers should also be aware that the two-year limitation period for prosecution under the Act does not apply to industrial manslaughter prosecutions, consistent with the ordinary law of criminal manslaughter.

For further information on the changes brought about by the Amendment Act, please refer to our previous articles on this subject, which can be found here, and here.

It is important for employers to implement effective controls to minimise work health and safety incidents in the workplace. This alert serves as a timely reminder to employers to review their current work health and safety procedures and documentation to ensure their employees are adequately protected, and to ensure that they are meeting their legal obligations and duty of care.

Should you require any assistance navigating the changes brought about by the Amendment Act, or for more specific information on any of the material contained in this article please contact Sathish Dasan on +61 8 8210 1253 or, Annabelle Narayan on +61 8 8210 1292 or, or Christian Beltrame on +61 8 8217 1315 or

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