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May 14
Sanctions accepted over residential construction fall

​A Darwin construction company and its director will have charges withdrawn after NT WorkSafe accepted their proposed enforceable undertaking.

ACSM Builders Pty Ltd and company director Sakellarious Athanasiou were both charged with breaching Section 32 of the Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act over a 2016 incident which saw a young sub-contractor fall approximately 2.9 meters through a void, breaking his left femur.

ACSM Builders and Mr Athanasiou entered into a legally-binding agreement to spend $209,500 on outcomes that would improve the health and safety of their workers, the NT construction industry and provide benefits to the wider community.

The proposed activities include:

  • Employ a dedicated Safety Officer to develop, implement and continually improve appropriate systems of work. This includes monitoring all ACSM Building workers and subcontractors on site.
  • Develop the skill set of ACSM Building workers by providing accredited training relevant to the construction industry.
  • Improve the company toolbox meetings.
  • Purchase two scissor lifts and provide relevant training to reduce the risk of working at heights to ACSM 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 Height course for sub-contractors regularly used by ACSM Building.
  • 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.

Executive Director of NT WorkSafe Stephen Gelding said Mr Athanasiou has expressed sincere regret that a young subcontractor was injured at one of his worksites.

“The company has already implemented a number of changes costing over $10,000 to improve safety since the incident occurred,” Mr Gelding said.

“The accepted undertaking contained a number of activities aimed at improving the safety and building the capacity of young Territorians working in the construction industry, which would not be available through a court imposed penalty.”

 

Media Contact: Peter Chan 0401 114 569

May 11
Entry permit validity after amalgamation of three unions

The Fair Work Commission has approved the amalgamation of three unions, namely, the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA), the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia (TCFUA) and the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), to form the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMMEU).

The amalgamation required the deregistering of the MUA and the TCFUA upon their merger with the CFMEU.

Northern Territory work health and safety entry permits held by CFMEU and MUA members remain valid and continue in effect until the relevant expiry date of each permit.

The current register of entry permit holders is available here.

May 04
Charges laid over Darwin musician’s death

​NT WorkSafe has charged the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics (DIPL) and Queensland based construction company BMD Constructions Pty Ltd over the death of a Darwin musician.

In the early hours of 30 April 2016, Peter Bonnell was killed when his motorbike crashed into the traffic diversion setup as part of the Tiger Brennan Drive duplication. DIPL had contracted BMD Constructions to manage the road works.

NT WorkSafe will allege that the traffic diversion setup was not in accordance with an approved traffic control diagram, and the set up was not compliant with Australian Standards causing a risk of serious injury or death to motorists.

DIPL face one charge of failing to comply with their health and safety duties contrary to Section 32 of the Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act. NT WorkSafe will allege DIPL:

  • Failed to ensure the provision and maintenance of a work environment without risks to health and safety by allowing the setup of a traffic diversion that posed a risk of serious injury or death to motorists.
  • Failed to provide a safe system of work by not having an appropriate audit compliance system.
  • Failed to ensure the provision of information and training of DIPL staff to properly manage and ensure compliance with Australian Standards of the project.

BMD Constructions, as the managing contractor, faces one charge of failing to comply with their health and safety duties contrary to Section 32 of the Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act. NT WorkSafe will allege BMD Constructions:

  • Failed to ensure the provision and maintenance of a work environment without risk to health and safety by setting up a road diversion that posed a risk of serious injury or death to motorists.
  • Failed to ensure the provision and maintenance of safe plant and structures without risk to health and safety by using interlocking crash barriers without reflective bollards which was not compliant with Australian Standards.
  • Failed to ensure the provision of information, training, instruction or supervision of their employees to understand that a traffic diversion could only be implemented in accordance with an approved traffic control diagram that had been audited as safe.

If found guilty, DIPL and BMD Constructions will each face a maximum penalty of $1,500,000.

The matter is listed for mention in the Darwin Local Court on Wednesday 6 June 2018.

 

Media Contact: Peter Chan 0401 114 569

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