ACTU takes aim at government over lack of action on Boland review

The following article is a news item provided for the benefit of members. Its content does not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Institute of Health & Safety.
Thursday, 29 April, 2021 - 12:45
Industry news
National News

The Government has failed to act on a single recommendation of the Boland review - released in February 2019, according to the ACTU, which said almost 400 people have died at work since the report was released.

The Boland review of model WHS legislation handed down 34 recommendations including that the model WHS Act be amended to introduce an offence of industrial manslaughter.

Other than in Queensland, Victoria, the Northern Territory and Western Australia when companies are found responsible for the death of a worker they pay only a small fine, which can be claimed against insurance.

The ACTU called on the federal government to act on the Boland review and introduce an industrial manslaughter offence in the model WHS laws.

Minister Cash will be the deciding vote at an upcoming meeting of federal and state ministers, which will decide if industry manslaughter is adopted federally.

“Almost 400 people have died at work since the Boland review was handed down over two years ago and the Morrison Government has failed to act on a single recommendation,” said ACTU assistant secretary Liam O’Brien:

“Businesses receiving a small fine that they can claim on insurance for someone dying at their workplace is appalling – there is no justice.

“We need industrial manslaughter legislation in every state and territory It should not matter what postcode your loved one dies in that determines the justice you receive,” said O’Brien.

“Industrial manslaughter will not only provide an avenue for true justice for the families of those killed at work, but it will also force cultural change that will hopefully lead to fewer deaths at work.“