The Australian minerals industry is a world leader in workplace safety. The safety of our people is the sector’s number one priority.
The MCA cautions that the introduction of Victorian Government’s industrial manslaughter laws will give rise to unintended consequences which impair, rather than enhance, health and safety outcomes at Australian workplaces.
These laws will not contribute to general or specific deterrence or improvements in health and safety outcomes. This must be the priority, not imposing oppressive and unnecessary criminal liability on selected individuals.
The MCA supports a legislative framework that achieves healthy and safe workplaces and provides for appropriate responses to where serious offences are proven.
Enforcement must be based on the desire to improve OHS standards at Victorian workplaces and prevent further incidents by fostering prompt sharing of safety lessons across industry.
Detailed and meaningful consultation on any amendments to OHS law, focusing on prevention and reporting, with all relevant stakeholders, including the minerals industry needs to be undertaken by the Victorian Government to provide the sector and the community confidence in healthy and safe workplaces.
The MCA will continue to advocate for continuous improvement, where all parties work together in support of a safety culture based on trust and openness, not an adversarial legal approach based on a blame culture.