Construction giant charged following Comcare investigation

By Shannon Jenkins

Tuesday September 8, 2020

There will be building site inspections across Sydney and the Hunter Coast in May. (Image: Adobe/Unkas Photo)

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions has charged a construction company with breaching federal work health and safety laws after a bricklayer working on the Sydney Metro rail project suffered severe leg fractures.

The injuries occurred during the construction of Castle Hill Station in September 2018, when the worker fell seven metres through a void onto a concrete floor.

Federal work safety regulator Comcare on Tuesday said a single charge had been filed against John Holland Pty Ltd, alleging the company had failed in its duties under the Work Health and Safety Act.

“It will be alleged John Holland did not maintain a safe working environment by failing to ensure the board covering the void was adequately fastened,” Comcare said.

The worker had been employed by sub-contractor DJD Brick and Blocklaying, but John Holland was the principal contractor for the project. The company faces a maximum penalty of $1.5 million.

In early 2019, a total of four federal work health and safety charges were filed against John Holland and contractors Omega Constructions and Universal Reo. Those charges related to a 2017 incident that injured a worker on the NorthLink road project in Perth.

The company has also been fined over previous federal work safety breaches in Adelaide.

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