Charges laid over young worker’s fall injuries in Darwin

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Two companies in Darwin and their respective directors have been charged by NT WorkSafe after a worker was seriously injured when he fell at a residential construction site.

On 24 August 2016, the 19-year-old worker fell approximately 2.9 metres through a void and broke his left femur. The safety regulator alleges that the construction site had numerous fall from height issues due to the lack of fall or edge protection, as well as other safety issues.

It is also alleged that the site was not supervised during the time of the incident and that the workers present spoke limited English which led to a delay in the injured worker receiving medical assistance.

The principal contractor of the construction site in Stuart Park has been charged for failing to comply with health and safety duty. NT WorkSafe alleges that the director did not exercise diligence and that the company failed to ensure fall or edge protection was installed onsite; failed to identify and remedy trip hazards caused by rubbish and building material; and failed to conduct site inductions for workers.

The employer of the injured worker and the company director each face one charge contrary to Section 32 of the Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act, for failing to comply with health and safety duty. It is alleged that the director did not exercise due diligence and that the company failed to assess and address risks at the worksite prior to deploying workers; failed to conduct site inductions for workers; failed to have and follow appropriate  SWMS for the work being done; failed to adequately supervise workers; and failed to conduct work health and safety training including how to contact emergency services in the event of an emergency.

If found guilty, the two companies will each face a maximum penalty of $1,500,000. The company directors will each face a maximum penalty of $300,000 if found guilty.

The matter is listed for mention in the Darwin Local Court on 28 February 2018.

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