WorkSafe Tasmania

WorkSafe Tasmania

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WHS undertakings

A work health and safety (WHS) or enforceable undertaking is an alternative to a court imposed sanction for an alleged contravention of the Work Health and Safety Act 2012. It is a written, legally binding commitment to implement effective work health and safety initiatives that deliver tangible benefits for workers, industry, and the community as a whole.

See also court summaries.

Crossroads Civil Contracting Pty Ltd

Date accepted: 23 June 2022

The incident

On 3 October 2019, a semi-trailer loaded with high-density polyethylene pipes arrived on an urban subdivision being developed by Crossroads Civil Contracting Pty Ltd.

The excavator operator and the supervisor at the site were rolling up the load restraint straps of the trailer with the truck driver, when some of the pipes fell.

The truck driver was pinned against the side of the truck by a falling pipe. The supervisor was pinned to the ground under two 150 kilogram bundles of pipes. They both sustained serious injuries; the supervisor was incapacitated and unable to perform work for more than 7 months.

The WorkSafe investigation found there was unsafe loading/unloading of the pipes:

  • the pipes were not loaded according to the Load Restraint Guide 2018
  • there was no safe system of work for unloading or to manage the risks associated with this task
  • a number of lifting slings were damaged and unsafe to use.

WorkSafe also found that deliveries should not have been made directly to the site.

The breaches

Crossroads Civil Contracting failed to comply with a health and safety duty: Category 2, section 32 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2012.

Summary/cost of activities to be undertaken

Crossroads Civil Contracting approached the Regulator to enter into a WHS undertaking rather than be the subject of judicial review.

Under the WHS Undertaking, Crossroads Civil Contracting has committed to ensuring the behaviour, activities and other factors that caused or led to the incident have stopped and won’t happen again. The management team is committed to driving a higher level if safety culture.

Activities to deliver benefits to the workplace ($15,000) are:

  • engaging an external consultant to audit its safety management system, and implementing any recommendations
  • implementing an internal audit schedule to audit its safety management system.

Activities to deliver benefits to industry ($59,500) include:

  • sponsoring a Northern and Southern Tasmania Civil Contractors Federation Industry forum
  • developing a training module for industry with TasTafe about securing loads and unloading deliveries safely
  • developing a re-enactment and education video about the incident and presenting it at a future WorkSafe Conference that Crossroads will sponsor.

Activities to deliver benefits to the community ($20,000):

  • developing a program with Launceston City Council to educate local school children about road safety for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists around construction sites.

Other/remedial work done since the incident ($380,000):

  • establishing a safety committee that meets monthly
  • providing leaders and workers with coaching, mentoring, training and toolbox presentations in various aspects of WHS (including risk management, hazard reporting)
  • implementing an online induction program
  • reaffirming delivery requirements with suppliers and transport companies
  • improving safety processes, particularly for high-risk activities
  • creating a safety alert about the incident and communicating this throughout the Hazell Bros group that owns Crossroads
  • communicating with contractors and suppliers on WHS matters.

Reasons for accepting the undertaking

The Regulator accepted the WHS undertaking under Part 11 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 and is satisfied that the strategies proposed/actions taken in this undertaking are likely to deliver long-term, sustainable safety improvements in the workplace, industry and community; are superior to Court proceedings; and proportionate to the incident.

Rampro Roofing Pty Ptd and Brian Marusarz

Date accepted: 14 May 2021

Incident

On 2 August 2017, a casual worker of Rampro was replacing a roof at a commercial warehouse, along with Brian Marusarz, owner/director of Rampro, and four other workers.

The worker was working on a live edge of the warehouse. Contrary to the safe work method statement (SWMS) for the task, he was not wearing a safety harness.

An old roofing sheet slipped and the worker fell around 8 metres through the roof and hit the ground. As a result, he sustained significant injuries including broken ribs and pelvis, fractured vertebrae, a collapsed lung, and other organ injuries.

The breaches

Rampro Roofing breached sections 19(1)(1a) and 32 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2012.

Brian Marusarz breached sections 27(5)(e) and 32 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2012.

Summary/cost of activities to be undertaken

Following the incident, Rampro took significant steps to improve its safety management systems, safe work procedures and practices, equipment, and training for its workers. Brian Marusarz expressed regret that the incident occurred, and acknowledged the need to improve Rampro’s work health and safety culture, awareness and practices.

Rampro and Brian Marusarz also agreed to undertake the following activities.

Activities to deliver benefits to workers: $13,250

  • annual working at height refresher course for all workers
  • accredited HSR course for two workers
  • Rampro and Brian Marusarz will actively discourage workers from doing weekend work for cash

Activities to deliver benefits to industry: $21,750

  • tailored industry culture course on roofing and working at heights. Rampro to engage an approved registered training provider; sessions to be delivered to new or existing industry members of groups of up to 10 people per session over 2 years
  • Rampro and Brian Marusarz to sponsors either a TAFE vocational or pre-vocational course specifically on working from heights or related to roofing; or to cover the costs of working at height course delivered by the above registered training provider for long-term unemployed people interested in the roofing industry

Activities to deliver benefits to community: $7,000

  • Brian Marusarz to write article for WorkSafe publication detailing his experience in the industry and in relation to the incident
  • Brian Marusarz to attend and speak about this experience at WorkSafe Month event
  • Rampro to donate roofing services and equipment to any construction industry-based charity approved by the regulator for each project undertaking in five years; or in the event that such services cannot be provided, to make a donation in cash

Total costs: $42,000

Reasons for accepting the undertaking

The Regulator accepted the WHS undertaking under Part 11 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 and is satisfied that the strategies proposed/actions taken in this undertaking are likely to deliver long-term, sustainable safety improvements in the workplace, industry and community; are superior to Court proceedings; and proportionate to the incident.

Updated: 6th October 2022
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