Make directors accountable: ACTU

FORTY-SIX Australians have died while at work this year and the Australian Council of Trade Unions is calling for employers to be held accountable if companies were negligent.

The ACTU said the Federal Government should strengthen Occupational Health and Safety laws to fine or jail directors for up to 20 years to ensure companies could not restructure to avoid paying fines as a result of negligent conduct.

"Forty-six Australians have died at work in the past year because their employer didn't take their safety at work seriously enough - we need to change that," ACTU assistant secretary Michael Borowick said.

He said the average fine for a workplace fatality in Australia was about $100,000.