NT WorkSafe accepted two enforceable undertakings for an incident in 2017 where 14 spectators received serious burn injuries during a burnout competition at the Red CentreNATS.
Two companies, Car Festivals Pty Ltd and the Northern Territory Major Events Company Pty Ltd. will spend a combined $1.2 million in legally binding agreements after NT WorkSafe considered laying charges over the incident.
Acting Executive Director NT WorkSafe, Melissa Garde said enforceable undertakings and prosecutions were both sanctions under the Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act 2011, and the decision on which sanction to use was based on achieving the best health and safety outcomes for Territorian.
“Car Festivals have committed to spend more than $255,000 on activities that include provide safety equipment and build volunteer capacity with the aim of improving safety at NT motorsports events by building the knowledge and capacity of the volunteers and organisations running them,” said MS. Garde.
“NT Major Events will spend more than $944,000 on activities that will not only improve safety at community events by building the knowledge and capacity of the volunteers and organisations running them.”
“Large numbers of Northern Territorians and visitors attend these events.”
Ms. Garde said the incident highlights the importance of safety at public and community events.
“I requested an additional assessment in April of both enforceable undertakings after further information was provided by the lawyer representing eleven of the injured spectators,” she said.
“That information and the views of the injured 11 have been considered; however prosecuting both companies would not provide the tangible benefits of making improvements to prevent further incidents from occurring at public and community events.”
“The question of compensation has been raised since this incident occurred,” said Ms. Garde.
“The work health and safety laws and sanctions available to the regulators are not the correct mechanism for resolving disputes around compensation.”
Details of the enforceable undertakings are available on the NT WorkSafe website.