Blue Mountains City Council
A complaint was received by SafeWork NSW relating to work conducted between 8 November 2016 and 21 September 2017 at two work sites in Lawson, where approximately 18 workers were engaged in excavating top soil and substrata and transporting it to another site for screening, sifting and removing debris. During the excavation works, fibre cement material was excavated.
Blue Mountains City Council contravened section 425(1), 429(2), 445(1) and 479(1) of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011.
Summary of undertaking
Activities Blue Mountains City Council will undertake include:
- development, promotion and distribution of an Asbestos Management Toolkit that could be used by all Local Councils within NSW
- a consultative survey of all Council staff to identify trends and potential psychosocial risks, and then implement steps to rectify these issues and hopefully bring about cultural change
- roll out new mobile communication technology for workers off site and ‘in the field’, so that they can easily access site, building and safety information while undertaking work remotely
- a public education campaign on how to legally and safely dispose of asbestos.
This undertaking has a total expenditure of $513,880.
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 Blue Mountains City Council 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”.
9th December 2019