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John Holland Enters $1.2m WHS Undertaking after 7 Metre Fall by Subcontractor’s Worker


John Holland Pty Ltd (John Holland) was granted permission to enter an enforceable undertaking (EU) for $1.2 million in lieu of prosecution over a worker’s seven-metre fall through a hole on a major infrastructure project in September 2018.

The worker who fell was a DJD Brick and Blocklaying Pty Ltd contractor engaged to perform construction work at the Sydney Metro rail project’s Castle Hill Station where John Holland was the principal contractor. The worker was on a mezzanine level when he stepped over a void covered by board which gave way. The worker fell through the hole, suffering a broken leg and other injuries. John Holland’s alleged contraventions included failing to ensure the board was properly fastened in place.

John Holland, licensed under the Comcare scheme, was charged with a category-2 breach of the Commonwealth Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and was accused of failing to comply with its section-19(3)(a) duty to provide and maintain a work environment without risks to health and safety.

For the EU, John Holland has committed to sharing insights from the incident and its working-at-height initiatives and making a virtual reality training app available for free to the broader construction industry. The app will use gaming engine technology to improve the engagement of trainees, the EU document claims.

The PCBU’s other EU commitments include: improving the site induction process using 360-degree cameras and virtual reality systems to increase the understanding of site risks and hazards; partnering with Indigenous and cultural diversity organisations to provide new job opportunities; and supporting a mental health initiative for the industry.