We have accepted an enforceable undertaking from Fletcher Construction, following an incident in 2016 where a worker was injured by a temporary wall which collapsed following a high-rain event.

On 31 May 2016 the victim was working in a two metre deep hole (used as a temporary sump) where water was pumping out following heavy rain fall.

The temporary sump had been constructed using temporary concrete blocks (each weighing one tonne).

The structure had been configured without formal design drawings or engineering sign off being obtained. 

The victim was attaching plywood to the blocks to stop aggregate being washed under the temporary concrete block wall when the concrete blocks started to shift. The victim jumped back, but was unable to get far enough away before he was caught under the blocks and plywood.

The victim sustained crushing injuries (multiple fractures) to his right lower leg. He returned to work in April 2017 after being off work for eight months as a result of his injuries.

Alleged breach

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

Summary of enforceable undertaking

Fletcher will:

  • Provide amends in the form of payment to the victim; professional development; and ACC top-up.
  • Develop a new temporary works procedure for workers.
  • Assist in the development of (Site Safe) programmes regarding temporary works.
  • Establish a health and safety forum with labour hire companies.
  • Present and publish articles on the incident.
  • Develop a health and safety module and provide work experience for a local college.
  • Make appropriate donations.

This enforceable undertaking has a total expenditure of at least $200,000.00

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; 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.
    • The incident was serious
  • Information received from any interested party in relation to the contravention.
    • The victim has expressed pragmatism regarding a suitable enforcement outcome to the incident.
  • Mitigation and remedial action, already taken, or planned, regarding both the contravention and any person affected by the contravention (including victims).

In addition to the measures outlined above, Fletcher has:

  • Expressed regret that the incident occurred and that a serious injury was suffered by the victim.
  • Immediately taken remedial action to address the work practices that led to the incident.
  • The person’s 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 Fletcher by a prosecution not proceeding.

Date accepted

22 March 2018

Further information

View the full The Fletcher Construction Company Limited enforceable undertaking:

Enforceable undertaking - The Fletcher Construction Company Limited (PDF 6.5 MB)
Enforceable undertaking variation 1 - The Fletcher Construction Company Limited (PDF 96 KB)