Construction company accepts $1.85 million enforceable undertaking

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Tuesday, 23 June, 2020 - 19:00
Incidents & prosecutions
New South Wales

A construction company recently accepted a $1.855 million enforceable undertaking over a 2017 incident at the Manning Base Hospital in Taree when a crane tipped over and came to rest with all four wheels off the ground, resting on scaffolding and two rear outriggers.

The crane operator jumped from the crane while it was tipping and as a result suffered serious injuries.

A.W.Edwards Pty Ltd was the principal contractor for the work being undertaken, and the company was found to have contravened section 19(1) and 32 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

A.W.Edwards accepted an undertaking with a total expenditure of $1,855,000, and activities the company will undertake include:

  • the recruitment and placement of a full-time WHS coordinator based at their Port Macquarie office
  • the development and promotion of a crane safety mobile application for use across the construction and crane industries, and
  • the development of a young workers program for trainee WHS coordinators in the Mid-North Coast region.

In accepting the undertaking, it was noted that:

  • The alleged contravention does not appear to be a section 31 Reckless conduct category 1 offence, which if it was the case, would preclude the proposed undertaking from being accepted.
  • The nature of the alleged contravention and the actions taken by A.W.Edwards in response to the incident are assessed as being appropriate for consideration of an undertaking.
  • The strategies proposed in the undertaking have been assessed as likely to deliver long term sustainable safety improvements in the workplace, industry and community.
  • The undertaking addresses the requirements contained within the “Enforceable Undertakings – Guidelines for Proposing a WHS Undertaking”.