Independent Work Health and Safety Prosecutor Aaron Guilfoyle has commenced an industrial manslaughter prosecution against the owner of a business in Gympie, Queensland, which sells and services electric motors. Jeffrey Owen has been charged with one offence under section 34C of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, with it alleged that Owen negligently caused the death of a worker at his business premises in July 2019. A second party, a company, has also been charged with an offence under the Act, arising from the same incident.
The charges against Owen will be mentioned in the Gympie Magistrates Court on 1 October 2020. The maximum penalty for industrial manslaughter in the state is 20 years’ imprisonment. This marks the first prosecution for industrial manslaughter against an individual since the offence was enacted in Queensland in 2017.
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