Date accepted: 11 May 2018

Incident

On 24 August 2016, a worker employed by a subcontractor, fell from the first floor of a residential home under construction. He was cleaning tile grout and stepped into an unguarded void. He fell approximately 2.9 metres resulting in a break of the left femur.

Alleged Breach

Is was alleged that ACSM Builders Pty Ltd and its Director, Mr Sakellarios Athanasiou failed to comply with their heath and safety duties under Section 32 of the Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act (the Act).

Summary of work health and safety undertaking

An undertaking given by ACSM Builders in relation to the alleged contraventions has been accepted by the Regulator as an enforceable undertaking under Part 11 of the Act.

ACSM Builders has committed to a range of activities to improve health and safety in the workplace and deliver heath and safety initiatives to the wider community. These activities include:

  • Employ a dedicated Safety Officer in the workplace to develop, implement and continually improve appropriate systems of work. This includes monitoring all ACSM Builders workers and subcontractors on site.
  • Develop the skill set of ACSM Builders workers by providing accredited training relevant to the construction industry.
  • Improve the company's toolbox meetings.
  • Purchase two scissor lifts and provide relevant training to reduce the risk of working at heights to ACSM Builders workers.
  • Purchase a temporary power site board to reduce the risk of electric shocks.
  • Fund the training in Certificate IV in OH&S for at least one worker to support the Safety Officer.
  • Organise an accredited working at heights course for subcontractors regularly used by ACSM Builders.
  • Present a 'lessons learnt' to apprentices in the NT construction industry, including details of the incident and the importance of following safety procedures.
  • Organise working at heights or basic scaffolding courses for NT construction industry apprentices to supplement their training.
  • Sponsor or assist in promoting the importance of fall protection in the construction industry during Safe Work Month 2018 or 2019.
  • Donate $10,000 to CareFlight.
  • Mentor and provide information to local people and subcontractors on working at height techniques and fall protection when working in remote communities.

The amount spent on work health and safety activities to date is $12,800 (not included below).

The financial commitment of the activities proposed in the undertaking are:

  • workers or the workplace - $176,500
  • industry - $23,000, and
  • the community - $10,000.

The financial commitments to the undertaking have a total minimum expenditure of $209,500.

Reasons for regulator acceptance

The regulator accepted the enforceable undertaking under Section 216 of the Act and is satisfied that this undertaking offers significant and ongoing commitments to achieve improved work health and safety outcomes and compliance beyond what is required by the law. The regulator believes the enforceable undertaking offers a similar deterrent to a successful legal proceeding and will result in a tangible improvement to safety in the workplace, industry and the wider Territory community.

NT WorkSafe has commenced monitoring the enforceable undertaking to ensure the activities are implemented and will continue to do so until the undertaking is completely discharged.