Recently, Rob Paterson has joined IRISgroup as an Associate.

Rob is a highly experienced investigations and governance reform professional with over 27 years experience in specialised law enforcement and regulation. His career in law enforcement as Senior Detective, South Australia Police and Senior Investigator, Police Integrity Commission NSW, spanned policing, public sector governance, management of misconduct, criminal and anti-corruption investigations, fraud and corruption control, risk and security management, ethics, compliance and governance reform.

Rob’s addition to the team increases our capacity to provide professional services especially for pre-trial investigations and inquiries.

A contracting firm has been fined $425,000 and the Company Director personally fined $85,500 relating to the death of a worker who fell through an unsecured penetration on a construction site and died. The District Court of NSW found the company involved had previous breaches for not having adequate controls to manage height safety, and failed in their duty to protect workers.

Unfortunately, deaths in mining, and construction continue with regular frequency in Australia, with many well identified fatal risks not being adequately controlled.

Ask yourself if safety obligations are being taken seriously where you work? Are adequate investigations being carried out into near miss and other incidents? Are you analysing data to see where your problem areas are? Do you have a good reporting culture (i.e. do you know what type of incidents are occurring? If the answer to any of these questions is ‘no’ then its time to rethink your WHS Management strategy.

With cases starting to trickle though involving the WHS Act, it’s clear the courts have laid down the gauntlet in terms of the hefty penalties that can be expected where a serious injury or fatality occurs at a workplace.