In 2014, workers of a contractor engaged by Central Highlands Regional Council were carrying out trench excavation work for installation of sewer pipes, when the trench collapsed causing serious injury to one man.
As a result of this incident, council has entered into an enforceable undertaking (EU) with the Deputy Director-General, Office of Industrial Relations.
An EU operates as an alternative to a court imposed sanction for an alleged contravention of the Work Health and Safety Act and is a legally-binding commitment to implement effective health and safety initiatives.
Council’s Chief Executive Officer Scott Mason said the incident was a terrible reminder about the importance of being safe at work.
‘Entering into this undertaking and implementing its activities will result in wide-reaching and ongoing positive impacts for the health and safety of our workers, contractors, and members of the community,’ he said
‘The enormous diversity of our service delivery is a challenge for managing health and safety. We have more than 600 items of plant in use and hundreds of people working for us, in a region equating to the size of Tasmania.
‘However, we are committed to having effective safety management practices in place to ensure everyone who is engaged by council to conduct activities, including contractors, goes home safely at the end of each day.
‘We will continue to strengthen internal resources to support the renewed commitment to safety and contractor management and to steer the strategic direction of health and safety.
According to the Manager of Safety and Wellness Sandie Schofield, the council has established a safety leadership strategy to drive a culture of safety performance.
‘Safety values are being integrated into all aspects of our business and we are creating real and sustainable change for the safety and wellbeing of our staff and industry partners.
‘Everyone at Central Highlands Regional Council is united behind our number one priority—a relentless focus on safety and wellbeing,’ she said.
The EU can be viewed on the WorkCover Queensland website.