South Australia is enforcing new industrial manslaughter laws. 

Employers found responsible for a worker's death due to a reckless or grossly negligent breach of health and safety can now face up to 20 years in prison and fines up to $18 million.

The legislation criminalising industrial manslaughter aims to hold employers accountable for severe health and safety breaches. 

SafeWork SA is running a statewide awareness campaign, using print and digital advertising to educate employers on these consequences.

“There is no second chance with workplace incidents, so it is imperative employers maintain high standards in protecting their workers and others from risks to their health and safety,” said Glenn Farrell, SafeWork SA Executive Director.

“The introduction of higher order penalties, including jail time, for acts of gross neglect and recklessness, should deter those who may disregard their work health and safety obligations and re-focus them on their duty to provide safe workplaces.”

SafeWork SA inspectors are collaborating with high-risk industries such as agriculture, construction, road transport, and manufacturing to reinforce stringent safety protocols. 

Under the new legislation, a person commits industrial manslaughter if they have a duty under the Work Health and Safety Act, breach that duty through reckless or grossly negligent conduct, and cause the death of an individual to whom that duty is owed.

These laws do not introduce additional health and safety obligations. Instead, they enforce severe penalties for existing breaches that result in a worker's death. The changes align South Australia with other Australian states and territories.