Charges laid over Cyclone George deaths

Tuesday, 05 August, 2008

WorkSafe WA will prosecute eight companies in connection with two deaths and serious harm caused to seven others during Cyclone George in March 2007.

The companies involved are:

  • Spotless P & F;
  • The Pilbara Infrastructure;
  • BGC Contracting;
  • Laing O’Rourke (BMC);
  • Spunbrood, trading as NT Link;
  • WorleyParsons Services;
  • Spotless Services Australia; and
  • Fortescue Metals Group.

The companies will face 49 charges under the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984.

WorkSafe WA Commissioner Nina Lyhne said today that the large number of charges demonstrated the breadth of OHS responsibilities.

"The finalisation of charges was an important step in an intensive process that had taken place over the past 16 months," Lyhne said.

The charges vary for each company, dependent on their obligations under the Act, but in summary the charges relate to:

  • failure to provide and maintain a safe working environment;
  • failure to maintain premises which were employer-provided accommodation;
  • constructing and/or designing temporary structures and failing to ensure that the structures were able to withstand potential cyclones; and
  • temporary structures and failing to ensure that the structures would be able to withstand potential cyclones.


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