Construction company Multiplex has faced charges of failing to ensure a workplace free of risks to health after a sprinkler pipe being installed on the 26th floor of a residential tower detached and fell, landing close to workers in the street below.
Multiplex stood accused of not having protective nets around the building and not giving clear instructions to workers about safety measures. Instead of going to court, the company agreed to an ‘enforceable undertaking’ requiring they;
- make videos about health and safety related to this incident and put them on a website
- advertise these videos in a magazine for the construction industry
- give money for a student scholarship to study OHS, focusing on falling objects in construction.
This commitment will cost Multiplex $195,548 with WorkSafe able to reinstate the charges if the undertaking is contravened or withdrawn.
The WorkSafe said falling objects continue to cause death and serious injury in the construction industry.
‘Even a small object pose a serious risk to workers and members of the public when falling from height. Control measures for falling objects are well known and employers have a duty to do everything reasonably practicable to implement them.’
Those measures include measures like assembling equipment away from edges, putting up barriers, using safety screens and nets, and following safety rules.
WorkSafe guidance on falling objects in construction can be viewed here