New South Wales (NSW) construction company John Holland Pty Ltd has been charged with breaching federal work health and safety laws, following an incident at a prison development in northern NSW. The incident occurred at the $700 million Clarence Correctional Centre project near Grafton on 6 February 2019. A labour hire employee was working on the roof of the maximum security section of the building when he stepped on a plywood board covering a five- to six-metre-deep penetration and fell partway through, sustaining minor injuries.
Following an investigation by Comcare, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions has filed a single charge alleging that John Holland failed in its duties under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act). It will be alleged that the company failed to provide and maintain a safe system of work for the job. The charge is a Category 2 offence under the WHS Act, with a maximum penalty of $1.5 million. The matter will be addressed in Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court on 6 April 2021.