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John Holland fined over injury to Brisbane worker

Media release

 - 24 Apr 2015

Construction company John Holland has been fined $110,000 for breaching federal occupational health and safety laws over an injury to one of its workers.

Justice Berna Collier imposed the penalty on John Holland Pty Ltd in the Federal Court of Australia in Brisbane late yesterday following proceedings brought by federal work health and safety regulator Comcare.

The worker was moving two arch form structures in a tunnel at the Brisbane Airport Link project on 1 December 2011 when an unsecured metal bridge fell on him from above, causing a laceration to his head.

Justice Collier accepted that John Holland breached its obligation to take all reasonably practicable steps to protect the health and safety of its employees under the then federal Occupational Health and Safety Act 1991 (since replaced by the Work Health and Safety Act).

In an Agreed Statement of Facts tendered to the court, John Holland admitted it did not conduct a risk assessment of the bridge before installing and using it, and did not provide workers with any information or training on the safe use or removal of the structure.

Comcare's Acting General Manager of Regulatory Operations Kristin Sykes said the case highlighted the importance of remaining vigilant about workplace health and safety.

"It's an important reminder that employers must ensure they carry out thorough assessments of work health and safety risks, including those introduced by using new items of plant," Ms Sykes said.

"They must provide this information to relevant employees and ensure they have the training to deal with these risks.

"This decision is also significant as we approach World Day for Safety and Health at Work and Workers' Memorial Day on 28 April. It's vital that employers and workers focus on taking action that prevents work-related deaths, injuries and illnesses."

Comcare is pursuing a separate penalty against John Holland over the death of a worker at the Brisbane Airport Link project in September 2011. The employee suffered severe head injuries and later died after he was struck by part of a steel structure.

Media Manager, Comcare
0478 305 675

Page last updated: 28 Apr 2015