We have accepted an enforceable undertaking from Opus International Consultants Limited after an incident on 21 February 2017.

A scaffold erected underneath the Panmure Bridge in Auckland collapsed while workers were completing maintenance work on the steel structure under the bridge. Six workers fell into the water below.

None of the workers were seriously injured.

Alleged Breach

Sections 36(1) (a) and (b) and 48(1) and 2(c) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015

Summary of Enforceable Undertaking

Opus International Consultants Ltd will:

  • Develop a practice Guide Re: NZS 3910 contract (3910 Opus H&S Guide for Engineers) and provide training for its employees on the Guide;
  • Undertake a full legal review of its Health & Safety framework;
  • Publish an external guide on NZS 3910 and disseminate this training to a wider audience;
  • Publish an external article about the incident and what it has learnt in an industry publication;
  • Make a donation to the NZ Institute of Safety Management; and
  • Provide work experience for students from Auckland University to attend training on health and safety and the 3910 contract, for two years.

This enforceable undertaking has a total expenditure of at least $100,300.

Reasons for Accepting the Undertaking

The alleged contravention does not amount to an offence against section 47 (reckless conduct) which would preclude it from being accepted.

The enforceable undertaking meets the requirements of WorkSafe’s Enforceable Undertakings Operational Policy [PDF, 182 KB] (July 2017); noting:

  • The nature of the proposals in the application and the benefits that would be realised to the health and safety system from them.
    • The activities in the enforceable undertaking will provide long-term sustainable health and safety improvements in the workplace, industry, and community. 
  • The nature of the alleged contravention and how serious it was.
    • Workers were exposed to a risk of death or serious injury arising from scaffold collapse; however, none of the workers were seriously injured.
  • No information received from any interested party in relation to the contravention.
  • The past performance and history of compliance with health and safety legislation is satisfactory.
  • Any likely outcome if the matter were dealt with by legal proceedings.
    • A charge was filed in relation to this incident on the basis that there was both evidential sufficiency, and a public interest in initiating prosecution.  A successful prosecution outcome may have resulted.
  • Any other matter which WorkSafe thinks is relevant.
    • The undertaking delivers benefits beyond compliance.
    • The undertaking offers sufficient benefit to the workplace, industry and community to offset the seriousness of the offending.
    • The undertaking contains acceptable terms.
    • The undertaking accounts for the benefits that accrue to Opus International Consultants Ltd by a prosecution not proceeding.

Date accepted

22 August 2018

Further information

View the full Enforceable Undertaking: 

Enforceable undertaking - Opus International (PDF 3.6 MB)