Northern Sydney Local Health District

Between 12 and 24 October 2012, when six electrical workers, ranging from 19 to 45 years of age, were exposed to risk of inhalation of airborne asbestos fibres without respiratory protection from damaged asbestos lagging whilst installing electrical cables in the subfloor space of building 30 Royal North Shore (Public) Hospital (RNSH).

Alleged breach

Clauses 419(1), 427(1), 448 and 449 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (WHS Regulation), as a person with health and safety obligations prescribed under Section 32 of the WHS Act.

Summary of undertaking

Activities the Northern Sydney Local Health District will undertake include:

  • Developing and implementing a tailored physical fitness program for the ageing workforce within the local health district (including piloting the program at Hornsby Hospital);
  • Undertaking a presentation about the learning’s from the incident to the Safety Risk Management and Injury Management Coalition;
  • Undertaking a presentation about the tailored fitness program at the Health Risk Managers Committee Conference; and
  • Facilitating a number of ‘Do it yourself’ information and awareness sessions on asbestos for home renovators and construction apprentices, within the NSLHD geographical catchment area, in conjunction with Northern Sydney catchment area Local Councils and TAFE.

This undertaking has a total expenditure of $2,600.99.

Reasons for accepting the undertaking

  • The alleged contravention does not appear to be a section 31 Reckless conduct category 1 offence, which if it was the case, would preclude the proposed undertaking from being accepted
  • The nature of the alleged contravention and the actions taken by the Northern Sydney Local Health District in response to the incident are assessed as being appropriate for consideration of an undertaking
  • The strategies proposed in the undertaking have been assessed as likely to deliver long term sustainable safety improvements in the workplace, industry and community
  • The undertaking addresses the requirements contained within the “Enforceable Undertakings – Guidelines for Proposing a WHS Undertaking”.

Date accepted

28 June 2016

Date variation accepted

10 February 2017

Further information

View the Northern Sydney Local Health District enforceable undertaking.

View the variation to the accepted enforceable undertaking dated 10 February 2017.