Industrial manslaughter

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Industrial manslaughter, for example in Australian Capital Territory law, is a crime where the action or inaction of an employer results in the death of an employee. Industrial manslaughter usually has a much broader scope than standard criminal manslaughter.

Industrial manslaughter legislation is a common demand of trade unions, to allow the criminal prosecution of owners and employers for workplace deaths.


The Australian Capital Territory has provisions for industrial manslaughter which were introduced recently. ACT Crimes Act 1900 (A1900-40) R32 13 July 2004 p44

Demands for Industrial manslaughter in NSW[edit]

In New South Wales provisions for industrial manslaughter were demanded by the trade union movement after the adolescent building industry worker Joel Exter fell off a domestic roof and died. Joel's union, the CFMEU conducted a significant campaign around his death. The Labor Party (ALP) government of NSW under Bob Carr denied that industrial manslaughter provisions were necessary as Workcover already has provisions for dealing with industrial death. The trade union movement argued that the manslaughter provisions of Workcover were ineffective, as reflected by a lack of prosecution of employers for workplace death.

Party positions on Industrial Manslaughter[edit]

The NSW ALP does not believe specific industrial manslaughter provisions to be necessary.

The NSW section of the Australian Greens believes that industrial manslaughter should be a federal crime.