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                        2 min read

                        $1.3m fine for first Victorian company convicted of workplace manslaughter

                        $1.3m fine for first Victorian company convicted of workplace manslaughter

                        A Victorian stonemasonry business has become the first company in the state to be convicted under its workplace manslaughter laws.

                        It follows the death of one of LH Holding Management Pty Ltd’s workers at its Somerton factory.

                        A 25-year-old subcontractor was working at the factory back in October 2021. It was during this time that company director, Laith Hanna, was operating a forklift with a raised load on a sloped driveway. The forklift tipped and landed on the young subcontractor, causing fatal injuries. 

                        The company, trading as Universal Stone and Marble, will be required to pay $1,300,000 in fines and a further $120,000 in compensation to the worker’s family.

                        Mr Hanna has also been placed on a two year Community Corrections Order, during which will be required to complete 200 hours of unpaid community service.

                        Investigations by WorkSafe Victoria following the incident found the company was in breach of the state’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act 2004, as the forklift was being operated in a negligent manner.


                        What is the law relating to workplace manslaughter?

                        Workplace manslaughter provisions were introduced to Victoria’s OHS Act in July 2020. Part 5A of the Act was added in a bid to prevent workplace deaths, deter those with duties of care from breaching these duties and ensure those who do are met with penalties that reflect the severity of the incident.

                        This case marks the first prosecution under these amendments. LH Holding Management was found in breach of Section 39(G)1 which states:

                        A person who is not a volunteer must not engage in conduct that -

                        1. is negligent; and

                        2. constitutes a breach of applicable duty that the person owes to another person; and

                        3. causes the death of another person.


                        What is the law relating to workplace manslaughter?

                        The risk of being prosecuted as a result of an incident involving machinery is often directly related to failing to comply with relevant safety legislation, such as the OHS Act mentioned above. There are many different safety obligations to comply with as a supplier or user of machinery, which includes the Acts, standards, regulations and codes of practice. For further guidance on the safety obligations of machinery suppliers and users, please see our guide on safety legislation.


                        Need to keep your machinery safe and compliant with legislation?

                        Plant Assessor is here to assist. Contact us today via phone on 1300 728 852 or via email at



                        Disclaimer: This information is intended to provide general information on the subject matter. This is not intended as legal or expert advice for your specific situation. You should seek professional advice before acting or relying on the content of this information.

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