Access to our Brisbane, Canberra and Melbourne offices is currently restricted. To visit us at these locations, call 1300 366 979 to arrange an appointment.

Learn more about good work
Get the latest national work health and safety news and evidence.

Prosecution over fall risk at prison development (Media release)

11 February 2021

Construction company John Holland has been charged with breaching federal work health and safety laws over a dangerous incident at a prison development in northern NSW.

UPDATE: In July 2021, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions decided to withdraw the WHS Act charge against John Holland Pty Ltd in this matter. The prosecution was formally discontinued in the Local Court of NSW on 27 July 2021.

Following an investigation by regulator Comcare, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions has filed a single charge alleging John Holland Pty Ltd failed in its duties under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

The incident happened at the $700 million Clarence Correctional Centre project near Grafton on 6 February 2019.

A labour hire employee was working on the roof of the maximum security section of the building when he stepped on a plywood board covering a five-to-six-metre deep penetration and fell part way through. The worker sustained minor injuries.

It will be alleged John Holland failed to provide and maintain a safe system of work for the job.

The charge is a Category 2 offence under the Work Health and Safety Act, carrying a maximum penalty of $1.5 million.

The matter is listed for mention in Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court on 6 April 2021.

Media Contact:
0478 305 675

Page last reviewed: 11 February 2021

GPO Box 9905, Canberra, ACT 2601
1300 366 979 |

Date printed 25 Apr 2024