We have accepted an enforceable undertaking from Begovich Builders Limited after an incident on 26 October 2016.

On 26 October 2016, four workers employed by Begovich Builders Limited were carrying out residential building work to construct a new house. The house design included a six metre chimney stack which was to be formed using three timber frames. The foundation for the house had already been laid, and the workers were erecting the timber frames for the chimney stack. This involved manually walking the frames into place one at a time. As the third frame was being walked up, it and the two other frames started to fall backwards towards the workers. Two of the workers were knocked out of the way and the two other workers were crushed beneath the three frames, weighing over 500kg.

Three of the workers sustained injuries, of which, the most severe and life changing was a burst vertebra fracture: resulting in paraplegia for the injured worker.

Alleged Breach

Sections 36(1)(a), 48(1) and 2(c) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015

Summary of Enforceable Undertaking

Begovich Builders Limited will:

  • Provide amends in the form of payment to the victims. 
  • Provide a range of additional Health & Safety training for all employees, including site-specific safety plans. 
  • Commission and develop best-practice safety guidelines for supply and standing of timber framing for residential buildings. 
  • Make appropriate donations to Westpac Air Ambulance and Middlemore Foundation (Spinal Rehabilitation Unit).

This enforceable undertaking has a total expenditure of at least $200,000.00

Reasons for Accepting the Undertaking

The alleged contravention does not amount to an offence against section 47 (reckless conduct) which would preclude an enforceable undertaking from being accepted.

The enforceable undertaking meets the requirements of WorkSafe’s Enforceable Undertakings Operational Policy (July 2017); noting: 

  • The nature of the proposals in the application and the benefits that would be realised to the health and safety system from them. 
    • The activities in the enforceable undertaking should provide long-term sustainable health and safety improvements in the workplace; industry; and community. 
  • The nature of the alleged contravention and how serious it was. 
    • The incident was serious. 
  • Information received from any interested party in relation to the contravention
  • Mitigation and remedial action, already taken, or planned, regarding both the contravention and any person affected by the contravention (including victims).
  • In addition to the measures outlined above, Begovich Builders Limited: 
    • Expressed regret that the incident occurred, and that a very serious injury was suffered by one the victims.
    • Immediately undertook remedial action to address the work practices that led to the incident
  • The person’s past performance and history of compliance with health and safety legislation is satisfactory.
  • Any likely outcome if the matter were dealt with by legal proceedings.
    • A charge was filed in relation to this incident on the basis that there was both evidential sufficiency, and a public interest in doing so: a successful prosecution may have resulted.
  • Any other matter which WorkSafe thinks is relevant
    • The undertaking delivers benefits beyond compliance. 
    • The undertaking offers sufficient benefit to the workplace, industry and community to offset the seriousness of the offending. 
    • The undertaking contains acceptable terms. 
    • The undertaking accounts for the benefits that accrue to Begovich Builders Limited by a prosecution not proceeding.

Date accepted

22 August 2018

Further information

View the full Enforceable Undertaking:

Enforceable undertaking - Begovich Builders Limited (PDF 3.2 MB)