Construction company enters into $520,000 enforceable undertaking

The following article is a news item provided for the benefit of the Workplace Health and Safety profession. Its content does not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Institute of Health & Safety.
Wednesday, 4 May, 2022 - 12:45
Incidents & prosecutions

Ferrovial Construction (Australia) Pty Ltd recently entered into a $520,000 enforceable undertaking with Workplace Health and Safety Queensland following a series of incidents that occurred between August 2017 and April 2018 during a construction project on a 41km road bypass route north of Toowoomba.

The incidents, which allegedly breached Queensland work health and safety laws, included a mobile concrete pump rollover and three incidents involving a risk of falls or falling objects.

In the event of an alleged contravention of WHS laws, the regulator may, as an alternative to prosecution, accept an enforceable undertaking by the person alleged to have committed the contravention. An accepted enforceable undertaking aims to deliver tangible benefits which would not be achieved through a prosecution.

As part of Ferrovial’s enforceable undertaking, the company will fund research into issues affecting work safety in the construction industry. This includes engaging Griffith University to study mobile plant safety and then a consultant to design and develop a mobile plant safety management system. This system will be implemented at Ferrovial but also made available to the whole industry.

Further research by Ferrovial will see the Queensland University of Technology review legal and policy issues involved in the use of pure risk prosecutions before presenting the findings to the government and publishing them for the industry.

Ferrovial will also be donating funds to:

  • Landcare Australia to improve its online WHS training resources for community volunteer groups
  • Suicide Prevention Australia for a workplace suicide prevention project
  • Hope Assistance Local Tradies for a project worker to support tradies and apprentices.

In addition, Ferrovial has committed to maintaining its occupational health and safety management system and undergoing third party compliance auditing and promoting the undertaking to managers, workers and contractors.

This includes due diligence workshops for all its senior managers, including the managing director. If a construction project is underway, an invitation will be extended to the project’s senior management to attend these workshops.