NSCA Foundation

Contractors face federal WHS charges

Friday, 08 February, 2019

Contractors face federal WHS charges

Three companies could be penalised up to $1.5 million each following federal work health and safety (WHS) charges filed against them.

Construction company John Holland, and contractors Omega Constructions and Universal Reo, are facing federal WHS charges over an incident that injured a worker at Perth’s NorthLink Road project in 2017.

The charges resulted from an investigation by Commonwealth work health and safety regulator Comcare.

Workers were moving a load of steel posts with a telescopic handler at a section of the project on Tonkin Highway in Morley when the incident occurred on 1 February, 2017. A worker was walking beside the vehicle and attempting to stabilise the load when the telescopic handler struck him in the leg, causing severe fractures. He was treated at Joondalup Hospital.

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions has filed a total of four charges in the Magistrates Court of Western Australia against the three companies.

There is one charge each against John Holland and Omega Constructions and two against Universal Reo, alleging the companies failed in their duties under the Commonwealth Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

All charges are Category 2 offences under the WHS Act, each carrying a maximum penalty of $1.5 million. The charges relate to alleged failures in providing safe systems of work and instruction.

John Holland was the principal contractor for the southern section of NorthLink and contracted Omega Constructions for the project. The injured worker was employed by Universal Reo, a subcontractor to Omega.

The matter is listed for mention in the Magistrates Court in Perth on 15 March.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Africa Studio

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