Construction giant Lendlease has been spared from prosecution over a building site accident that injured two pedestrians, with the workplace safety regulator claiming there is “insufficient admissible evidence” to go to court.
According to SafeWork SA, South Australia’s agency for monitoring and enforcing workplace healthy and safety rules, two female pedestrians were seriously injured on 11 October 2016, after a steel construction gate at a building site fell on them.
Construction at the Adelaide site, now home to the new University of Adelaide Medical and Nursing School, was being carried out by Lendlease when the gate apparently rolled out of restraints and fell onto the footpath where the two women were walking, causing them serious injuries.
SafeWork SA’s Investigation and Prosecution Capability unit labelled the incident as a priority investigation.
However the regulator’s executive director, Martyn Campbell, said this week that he is “disappointed” that a prosecution will not go ahead, after it was deemed there was not enough admissible evidence to warrant taking the matter to court.
“The victims have been fully appraised of the reasons why the prosecution is not proceeding. I understand this is a very disappointing outcome for them; I am equally disappointed,” he said.
Mr Campbell said that the agency has implemented substantial changes to its investigative processes as a result of this case that he said should deliver “even greater protections for South Australian workers”.
Lendlease did not respond to specific questions, but issued the following brief statement:
“Lendlease has at all times cooperated with Safework SA regarding the investigation into this incident. Safety on our sites remains our number one priority and our thoughts remain with the two women.
“For legal reasons we are unable to provide any further comment.”
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.