Qld industrial manslaughter laws begin

Darren Cartwright
New industrial manslaughter laws have come into effect for Queensland mines and quarries

Queensland's mining and quarry executives face up to two decades in jail under changes to industrial manslaughter laws.

The changes that come into effect from Wednesday are designed to better protect the state's 50,000 mine workers and come weeks after a major explosion at an underground mine at Moranbah, in central Queensland.

Four miners sustained extensive burns in the gas explosion.

Employers and senior safety officials could be held responsible under what the state government says are some of the toughest mine safety and health laws in the world.

Corporations face fines up to $13 million.

Mines Minister Anthony Lynham said in May when the laws were passed that establishing industrial manslaughter as an offence in mines and quarries would ensure that senior company officers "do all they can to create a safe mine site.

"In the past two years, we've had eight workers die and a gas explosion in an underground coalmine has put five miners in hospital.

"It's not acceptable. Safety on a mine site is everybody's responsibility."

Dr Lynham said the new sanctions brings the resources sector and its workers in line with every other workplace across the state albeit with higher financial penalties.