A steel company involved in an alleged work safety incident on the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing construction project will fund major work safety and mental health initiatives after accepting an enforceable undertaking with the safety regulator.
BE Steel Fixing Pty Ltd entered into the undertaking with Workplace Health and Safety Queensland after it was alleged the company breached its duty of care under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011. The regulator may, as an alternative to prosecution, accept an EU by a person alleged to have committed a contravention. An EU aims to deliver tangible benefits to workers and the workplace, industry and the community, which would not be achieved through a prosecution.
Under this EU, BE Steel Fixing will fund more than $145,000 of safety improvements at its workplace, industry wide and in the community. It will promote the EU among its workers, engage a WHS consultant to develop and implement an online occupational health and safety management system and have it scrutinised by a third-party auditor. It will also employ a qualified WHS officer to assist in building capabilities within the business and implementing the EU. A WHS consultant will be engaged to develop, implement and deliver a health and safety, environmental and quality internal training course for all company directors, managers and supervisors to improve health and safety on the work site and to assist in maintaining and improving the OHSMS.
Externally, the company will participate in and provide funding for a Queensland university industry occupational hygiene research project. After the research, BE Steel additional funds have committed to implement the priority actions it recommends
The company will engage the Australian Institute of Health and Safety to conduct an OHS forum for small to medium sized construction businesses that will feature presentations on safe work method statements, shared duties and obligations, implementing the online OHSMS, lessons learnt from the hygiene research project, and mental health within construction.
Finally, BE Steel Fixings will donate $5000 to the non-profit company This Is A Conversation Starter Foundation Ltd to assist in improving the quality of workers mental health.