Action taken against construction company for breaching Prohibition Notice

Released 04/10/2018

WorkSafe ACT has entered into a $300,000 enforceable undertaking with local company Construction Control following an alleged breach of a Prohibition Notice relating to the use of unsafe scaffolding.

Work Safety Commissioner Greg Jones said the action taken by WorkSafe ACT, combined with the value of the undertaking, reflected the significant risk that unsafe scaffolding and a fall from heights can have on workers.

“WorkSafe ACT issues Prohibition Notices on a worksite or equipment when there is a significant safety risk to workers that needs rectification before it can be used,” Mr Jones said.

“Such Notices are a significant regulatory action and therefore it is troubling that in this instance the notice was allegedly not complied with and the scaffolding was accessed by workers subcontracted on the Kingsborough Project.

“Working at height carries significant risks and any fall, even from a relatively low height, can have catastrophic consequences to a worker leading to life-changing injuries or death.

“To put it simply, for workers to access scaffolding which had significant safety issues is very concerning and this undertaking reflects this.”

The alleged contravention of the WHS Act occurred on 18 January 2018 when a worker accessed scaffolding which had been subject to a Prohibition Noticer on 17 January 2018.

An enforceable undertaking is a legally binding agreement which must be complied with or further regulatory action will be considered. The undertaking includes commitments to improvements for employees, industry and the community with timelines and reporting requirements that have to be met.

Through the undertaking Construction Control has committed:

  • to employ an additional permanent safety advisor to provide technical work health and safety oversight to projects (cost: $180,000)
  • to develop, implement and evaluate a work health and safety leadership training package for project managers, site managers, foreman and site engineers (cost $60,000)
  • to develop and implement tailored online construction safety specific training for all staff which will include height safety (cost $50,000)
  • to provide a cash donation to local charity Stella Bella Little Stars Foundation (cost $10,000).

Mr Jones said the total cost of this undertaking at $300,000 would also send a clear signal to local industry that regulatory notices are a significant safety control measure that must be adhered to.

“It is also an important reminder to industry and site managers to ensure that any notices and associated restrictions are communicated to all workers and subcontractors who may attend a site,” he said.

“I’d also like to acknowledge the cooperation and remorse that Construction Control has conveyed in response to this incident and their ongoing commitment to supporting safety on worksites.”

- Statement ends -

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