WorkSafe disappointed by penalty against developer

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WORKSAFE ACT is disappointed by the penalty given to an ACT property development company after a work experience student fell six metres on its worksite in 2016. 

The ACT Industrial Court has served the developer of Nikias Diamond Property Development Pty Ltd a financial penalty of $180,000 after a 16-year-old student on a work program stepped into an open void off a ladder on a work site in Amaroo on October 27, 2016.

The student sustained significant injuries.

Work Safety commissioner Greg Jones says Work Safe ACT is disappointed by the penalty, noting that the particular breach of duty (s 19 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011(ACT)) carried a possible maximum penalty of $1.5 million.

ACT Work Safety Commissioner Greg Jones.

“The worker involved in this incident has suffered significant and life changing injuries,” he says.

“Noting that this incident could have quite easily been fatal, WorkSafe expected a greater penalty in recognition of this and to provide a strong deterrence for industry.”

In the reasons for sentence, Mr Jones says the guilty plea by the builder and other considerations around the penalty were noted.

He says further advice is being sought on whether to appeal the penalty decision.

Two sub-contractors that also held work health and safety duties at the site at the time of the incident have already entered into separate Enforceable Undertakings with WorkSafe ACT. This provides a safety contribution to workers and the community of $132,000 for each company.

Mr Jones says falls from heights remain one of the greatest risks for death and significant injury in the construction sector.

 

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