Mine managers could face jail over site deaths

The WA Government is considering changes to legislation that could see mine managers sent to jail if workers die on site.

PerthNow reports the review could also link penalties to company profits, meaning miners like BHP Billiton or Rio Tinto could face much larger fines than smaller resources companies.

The new laws would apply to mining and oil and gas companies, and could also see a demerit point system introduced.

PerthNow reports a WA Department of Mines and Petroleum review is examining the state's mining legislation, and is questioning whether managers could be charged with corporate manslaughter following the death of a worker.

New laws could also see managers held responsible for environmental breaches or disasters, with enforcement measures including warnings, fines, stop-work orders, licence changes, and prosecutions.

Department deputy director-general Michelle Andrews said while most of the state's operations were secure the industry needed to “remain vigilant” and compare its legislation with rules in other parts of Australia and the world.

Earlier this month the Department said government reforms and efforts by the industry had led to WA recording its first fatality free year in more than a century.

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