Date accepted: 25 October 2018

Incident

It was alleged that in October and November of 2015, Northern Transportables Pty Ltd were contracted to refurbish three properties and allowed unlicensed workers to remove asbestos from two of the properties without training or appropriate safety equipment, despite knowing the properties contained asbestos.

Alleged breach

It was alleged that Northern Transportables Pty Ltd failed to comply with health and safety duties under Section 32 of the Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act (the Act) as well as breaching Regulation 300 (two charges), Regulation 442(1) and Regulation 458(1) of the Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Regulations.

Summary of work health and safety undertakings

An undertaking given by Northern Transportables Pty Ltd in relation to the alleged contravention has been accepted by the regulator as an enforceable undertaking under Part 11 of the Act. Northern Transportables Pty Ltd has committed to a range of activities to improve health and safety standards in the workplace and deliver health and safety initiatives to the industry and wider community. These activities include:

  • Undertake employee safety climate surveys.
  • Create workplace safety training videos and online induction training.
  • Update the current paper-based induction to an interactive cloud-based system.
  • Undertake safety leadership training for all managers and supervisors.
  • Employ a Senior Business Safety Strategist.
  • Create a dedicated safety page on the company website and publish for industry use asbestos safety strategies, and other safety resources.
  • Fund asbestos awareness training for Northern Territory manufacturing, building and construction industry apprentices.
  • Provide $20,000 towards Vocational Education and Training (VET) Scholarships for Charles Darwin University students.

 The amount spent on work health and safety activities to date is $33,180.

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

  • workers or the workplace - $124,050
  • industry - $69,000
  • the community - $20,000.

The financial commitments to the undertaking have a total minimum expenditure of $246,230.

Reasons for regulators 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 in the Darwin community.

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