Canberra glass company enters into enforceable undertaking over workplace incident

WorkSafe ACT has accepted an enforceable undertaking with a range of actions, including a financial commitment of $ 300,000 from local glass company following an incident where a delivery driver was seriously injured during the unloading of glass panels last year.

The ACT Work Safety Commissioner Greg Jones accepted the undertaking following an investigation by WorkSafe ACT into the incident at the company’s worksite, in Hume, in May 2017.

“The delivery driver sustained significant and life-changing injuries when he was struck by a falling glass panel during the unloading activity,” Mr. Jones said.

The company submitted a proposal for an enforceable undertaking after WorkSafe ACT investigations revealed an alleged contravention of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

An enforceable undertaking is a legally binding agreement which the company must comply with.

If the company fails to comply with the enforceable undertaking, WorkSafe ACT can seek court enforcement, including an additional penalty of up to $ 250,000.

WorkSafe ACT said it had accepted the undertaking as it provides for improved safety outcomes for workers in the company and the industry more broadly. The safety regulator added that it remains committed to pursuing prosecution action where it is considered appropriate.

The $ 300,000 obligation includes substantial contributions to improve safety awareness and practices in industry as well as providing broader community benefits.

Specifically, the undertaking includes improvements to safety systems/practices for workers: $ 164,000, industry benefits (glass stock and training for CIT students): $ 70,400, community benefits, including the donation to Red Cross of a new vehicle, and freezer units to enable the safe transportation of donated breast milk for premature babies: $ 60,700.

“The injury which occurred on this site was preventable and should not have happened,” Mr. Jones said.

“We have already seen improvements to the safety culture at Glass Tech during the development of proposals for this enforceable undertaking. We expect this will continue through WorkSafe ACT’s ongoing monitoring to ensure compliance with the enforceable undertaking.”

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