Victoria has introduced new industrial manslaughter laws as part of its commitment to make safety a priority, not only in the workplace, but all public places.
The new penalties, introduced into the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004, reflect similar changes to the laws in Queensland and the ACT introducing significant penalties, including jail and multi-million dollars fines, for those found guilty of breaching these new provisions.
It is important to note that these laws apply to ALL organisations, including unincorporated bodies and unincorporated associations, which many Motorsport Australia affiliated clubs would be categorised as.
Motorsport Australia CEO Eugene Arocca said it was important that clubs and committee members were aware of their responsibilities under the Act within their state.
“As with any law, regulation or requirement change, we are keen to make sure that our clubs are fully aware of their responsibilities and the ramifications of any breach,” Arocca said.
“While there are many things to consider, it is important to understand the serious consequences that could apply if a club, event promoter or venue operator was found to be at fault in an accident and those on the Board or Committee of any such body could face individual prosecution were the worst to happen. Directors and Committee members are expected, indeed, require by law, to fully understand their obligations with respect to health and safety.
“We felt it important to ensure that our clubs are aware of these new laws and to reassure our members that we are here to offer our support and advice. We adapt best practice standards for a reason and the consequences if someone should cut corners or compromise safety for expediency or commercial reasons are now very significant.”
These duties and responsibilities apply across the country and while not all states have introduced this new crime, a number of states have increased the penalties to reflect the seriousness with which such incidents are treated.
Given the recent changes, Motorsport Australia will host a free online Q&A for its affiliated clubs in the coming weeks on these laws.
If your club is interested in joining this free session, please email [email protected]
and provide your club’s name, location and the name of members interested in attending this session.