Short Courses

Criminal Manslaughter – How Not To Do It

Protect your people and the public from harm, and yourself from criminal liability by understanding how to make defensible safety due diligence decisions.
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Protect your people and the public from harm, and yourself from criminal liability by understanding how to make defensible safety due diligence decisions.

Industrial manslaughter is being written into workplace health and safety legislation. Serious consequences—including fines and gaol time—may arise when a senior decision-maker fails to put reasonable precautions in place and someone dies.

Delivered by experienced due diligence engineers, this course explains how the new provisions in WHS legislation require engineers and organisations to move from hazard-based risk management to a precautionary approach. 

Using practicable examples and relevant court decisions you’ll cover: 

  • how to demonstrate safety due diligence under the WHS/OHS legislation
  • how the SFAIRP (so far as is reasonably practicable) concept is built into legislation
  • the difference between statute and common law and how this benefits defensibility
  • the hierarchy of control as understood and used in court: elimination, precautions, mitigations
  • the legal loss-of-control point (aligning the laws of man and nature)
  • how to demonstrate the management of the laws of nature in a way that satisfies the laws of man.

The course is held as a four-hour interactive session. You'll have access to expert advisers, so you can bring your questions to the Q&A part of each session.

By the end of the course, you'll understand the critical importance of safety due diligence—not just compliance—to avoid criminal negligence. You'll also learn how to make defensible decisions using recognised legal terminology and processes.

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*1% credit card surcharge applies.

Any questions?

4 hours
Location & dates

18 June - 18 June


8 October - 8 October

Additional Information

This online short course will run on the following dates:

18 June 2024, 10am - 2pm AEST

8 October 2024, 9am – 1pm AEDT 


Registrations close three business days before each session of the course.


We can customise this course for groups of six or more.

You choose the time, place, duration and format.

Find out how we can help you and your team by clicking on the button below to request a quote or calling us directly on +61 3 9321 1700.

Learning outcomes
  • Legal duties of directors to show due diligence under WHS and other legislation
  • Due diligence under common law
  • Risk management techniques to establish due diligence, and when to use them
  • Why regulatory compliance does not equal due diligence, especially for safety matters
  • How to demonstrate the laws of nature prior to the laws of man
  • How to use threat-barrier diagrams to demonstrate safety due diligence
Is this course for you?

Is this course for you?

This suits engineer and design professionals, and is particularly valuable for:

  • board members
  • senior decision-makers
  • technical advisers

There are no prerequisites for this course.

Topics we'll cover

Topics we'll cover

Course content: will be divided into four sessions:

  • Legal context
  • How to demonstrate safety due diligence
  • Tools and techniques
  • Questions

Over the course of the workshop you will explore the following topics:

  • Why legal firms are adopting engineering design processes to advise their clients
  • Duty-of-care and primary defences against negligence
  • Expert witness tests: foreseeability, causation, preventability and reasonableness 
  • How the High Court of Australia determines ‘reasonableness’ 
  • Why to avoid heat maps as decision making tools
  • Why the exclusive reliance on ISO31000 for managing safety risk is a liability for most organisations and senior decision makers
  • Why ALARP is not the same as SFAIRP
Gaye Francis
Richard Robinson

The course was excellent and the presenters were also very good and knew their content extremely well.

Brian, Queensland Alumina Limited

I now understand to beware of signing off and the level of responsibility expected of the engineer...


Fantastic practical examples provided by Richard and Gaye's professional experience with R2A clients demonstrating the methodologies presented during the workshop.

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