Government Department gets an enforceable undertaking following a workplace death

Yesterday (April 4, 2019) SafeWorkSA dropped charges against the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) over breaches of the workplace health and safety legislations that contributed to the death of 54-year-old Debra Summers, in exchange for an Enforceable Undertaking (EU). This move had been flagged earlier noting that it was unusual to accept an …

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Enforceable Undertaking related to workplace death

Several readers have raised their eyebrows over recent media reports in South Australia that say that SafeWorkSA is in the process of accepting an Enforceable Undertaking (EU) related to the death of 54-year-old Debra Summers, who was found dead in a freezer at the Echunga police training reserve on October 4, 2016. The use of …

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SIA receives $50K through Enforceable Undertaking

Enforceable Undertakings (EUs) are increasingly popping up in the prosecution lists of occupational health and safety (OHS) regulators.  A curious one appeared on WorkSafe Victoria’s website in January 2018. Ardex Australia P/L was prosecuted for breaching OHS laws after a subcontractor was burnt: “…when a dry powder mixing machine was operated whilst hot metal slag …

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A new media strategy is required to support the aims of enforceable undertakings

Enforceable Undertakings (EU) are a relatively new phenomenon in the occupational health and safety (OHS) world.  They are, fundamentally, a legal process that allows organisations to avoid a prosecution for breaching OHS laws.  The issue has garnered some attention recently due to application of an EU to a New Zealand school after two student actors …

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Enforceable Undertakings on OHS – Good and Bad

In 2010 Queensland’s former Attorney-General Cameron Dick said of enforceable undertakings that: “Enforceable undertakings promote the introduction of long-lasting and more wide-ranging safety changes that would not have occurred under the prosecutorial system that imposes fines after the event.” Enforceable Undertakings can be a powerful force for improving occupational health and safety (OHS) but they … Continue reading “Enforceable Undertakings on OHS – Good and Bad”

Do “enforceable undertakings” equal justice?

The issue of “enforceable undertakings” for breaches of OHS law receives an interesting interpretation in the Courier-Mail newspaper on 18 January 2010.  “Enforceable undertakings” are unfairly described as “plea bargains” but the article does provide some comparisons to support the argument. The first example provided where a worker was left a paraplegic sounds like a plea bargain in that there was … Continue reading “Do “enforceable undertakings” equal justice?”

“can’t afford” means “don’t want to”

Richard Denniss, an economist with The Australia Institute, discusses economics differently from other economists. He will seldom discuss occupational health and safety (OHS). He rarely talks about industrial relations. Instead, he talks about the big picture by drawing on many sources and disciplines, which is why he is so interesting to listen to. This week …

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