First prosecution under Queensland’s pioneering industrial manslaughter laws

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In a first for Queensland, the Work Health and Safety Prosecutor has commenced a prosecution against Brisbane Auto Recycling Pty Ltd for industrial manslaughter under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

Separate charges have also been made against the company directors, Asadullah Hussaini and Mohammad Ali Jan Karimi, for engaging in reckless conduct that resulted in the death of a worker.

“I have been advised by the independent Work Health and Safety Prosecutor that he has initiated the industrial manslaughter and reckless conduct proceedings in relation to a workplace fatality which occurred earlier this year”, Minister for Industrial Relations, Grace Grace said.

“Just over two years ago, the Palaszczuk Government introduced tough new laws aimed at protecting Queensland workers.

“These laws are about saving lives and ensuring all Queenslanders return home to their loved ones after a day’s work.

“They are the first of their kind to be introduced by a state jurisdiction and leave negligent employers culpable in workplace deaths with nowhere to hide.

“Individuals guilty of industrial manslaughter will face up to 20 years imprisonment, with corporate offenders liable for fines of up to $10 million.”

The workplace fatality occurred on Friday 17 May 2019, when a worker was tragically killed after being struck by a reversing forklift at wrecking yard in Rocklea.

Following investigations by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland and Queensland Police, a brief of evidence was referred to the Office of the Work Health and Safety Prosecutor.

“After careful consideration, I decided to take action against the company and its directors”, Work Health and Safety Prosecutor Aaron Guilfoyle said.

“This the first prosecution for industrial manslaughter in Queensland and is the result of a comprehensive investigation into the fatality.

“The charge of industrial manslaughter includes allegations that Brisbane Auto Recycling caused the death of their worker by failing to effectively separate pedestrians from mobile plant, and failed to effectively supervise workers, including the operators of mobile plant.

“The charges against Hussaini and Karimi relate to their failure as directors to ensure that the business had those systems in place.”

The charges will be mentioned in the Holland Park Magistrates Court on Friday 1 November 2019.

More information on industrial prosecutions is at worksafe.qld.gov.au

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

 
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