Notices and fines issued by WorkSafe ACT on the light rail project

Released 29/11/2017

WorkSafe ACT has issued a number of fines as well as Prohibition and Improvement Notices over the last week following safety concerns on the light rail project site.

The notices (three Prohibition Notices and one Improvement Notice) related to the storage and treatment of flammable materials on the site as well as an incident involving a small fire during a refuelling activity.

Infringements totalling more than $14,000 have also been issued to a subcontractor and the principal contractor involved on the project.

WorkSafe ACT can advise that the fire incident related to the ignition of fuel vapours as a generator was filled with petrol in close proximity to where grinding of a metal track weld was occurring. This resulted in a small fire which was quickly extinguished and there were no injuries to workers on the site.

Due to poor operational and site set up issues, Notices were issued for the welding areas and firefighting equipment. It was noted that multiple types of flammable substances were being stored in the vicinity of the welding areas in an inappropriate manner.

As a result of the failure to follow their Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS), two Infringement Notices ($3600 each) were issued to a project sub-contractor for non-compliance with SWMS and another two were issued to the principal contractor for the same failures, totalling $14,400.

Two of the Prohibition Notices have since been lifted following appropriate remediation action.

Work Safety Commissioner Greg Jones said safety on the light rail project remained a key focus of WorkSafe ACT and the presence of inspectors on site would continue to increase as three additional inspectors commenced to support the project later this year.

“This is a project which is not only of great prominence but also complexity and safety must remain the overarching consideration of workers and project officers working on this project,” he said.

“As we head into the busy end of year period my message to workers on this site, and others across the city, is not to rush to complete deadlines at the expense of safety.

“As the activity on the light rail site increases in intensity and complexity into the New Year, WorkSafe ACT will be increasing its focus on the light rail site to ensure all works are being undertaken safely.

“The increased number of WorkSafe inspectors focusing on this project will be a key element in ensuring workers and the community are kept safe.”

- Statement ends -

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