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Court action over Perth City Link Rail Project death

Media release

 - 05 Mar 2014

Comcare has today filed legal proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia (Perth Registry) against three John Holland entities. Comcare will allege that each entity breached federal work health and safety laws.

The legal proceedings arise from a fatal incident on 30 December 2011 at a John Holland Pty Ltd workplace which was part of the Perth City Link Rail Project, where a John Holland Group Pty Ltd employee was struck and killed by an out of control hi-rail vehicle. The hi-rail vehicle had been manufactured by John Holland Rail Pty Ltd by connecting rail wheels to a JCB Fastrac Tractor to enable it to operate on rail tracks as well as conventional roadways.

In these matters, Comcare will allege that:

  • John Holland Pty Ltd failed to take all reasonably practicable steps to protect the health and safety of its employees and contractors
  • John Holland Group Pty Ltd failed to take all reasonably practicable steps to protect the health and safety of its employees
  • John Holland Rail Pty Ltd failed, in manufacturing plant it reasonably expected to be used by relevant employees, to take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure that the plant is designed and constructed so that when properly used, it is safe for relevant employees.

Comcare Regulatory Operations General Manager, Neil Quarmby said this case highlights the human tragedy of workplace fatalities.

‘We have a collective need to address the protections afforded to workers to prevent such terrible loss in the future,’ Mr Quarmby said.

John Holland Pty Ltd and John Holland Rail Pty Ltd have previously had civil penalties imposed by the Federal Court for breaching Commonwealth work health and safety laws.

The maximum civil penalty for each alleged breach is $242 000.

5 March 2014

Media Contact:
Comcare Media Team
0478 305 675
media@comcare.gov.au

Page last updated: 05 Mar 2014