Nexus CEO John Hagan.
Nexus CEO John Hagan. Charlotte Lam

Nexus CEO 'welcomes' report into safety on TSRC sites

UPDATE 4.45pm: The CEO of Nexus Infrastructure has welcomed the findings from a report into safety issues on the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing worksites.

John Hagan said the company and its lead contractor, Nexus Delivery, would implement all recommendations highlighted by risk management firm Prensa and industry expert Ennio Bianchi.

"We are pleased that he considers our contractor (Nexus Delivery) has a number of comprehensive processes in place to plan and manage health and safety risks," he said in a statement.

"A number of the earlier recommendations have already been adapted into practice and we have been assured by our contractor that all of the recommendations, including the ones identified in our own independent third party audit, will be implemented."

Mr Hagan's comments come on the back of Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey, who flagged that all 51 recommendations from the report would be put into place.

Toowoomba Second Range Crossing under construction by Nexus, Friday, February 2, 2018.
Toowoomba Second Range Crossing under construction by Nexus, Friday, February 2, 2018. Kevin Farmer

A number of the major concerns around rollovers on the site revolved around the reporting of incidents and the quality of investigations.

"We greatly value the work of the Office of Industrial Relations and Workplace Health and Safety Queensland and will continue to work proactively and collaboratively with these agencies and the Queensland Government until project completion," Mr Hagan said.

UPDATE: Toowoomba Second Range Crossing contractor Nexus will accept all the recommendations from an independent report into its workplace health and safety, according to the State Government.

Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the report from risk management consultant Prensa handed down 51 recommendations, relating to inconsistent incident reporting, changes to classifications and updates to its health and safety processes.

"I am not satisfied with the operations on the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing site - the safety of workers is paramount," he said in a statement.

"That is why I instructed my Director General to appoint an independent audit of the site earlier this year.

"I've now received that report, released it publicly, and Nexus has committed to implementing the recommendations in it."

Nexus Infrastructure is yet to respond to the report, which was handed to Minister Bailey yesterday.


Transport Minister Mark Bailey.
Transport Minister Mark Bailey.

EARLIER: Incident reports for equipment rollovers on Toowoomba Second Range Crossing worksites lacked detailed descriptions, had inconsistencies and not always completed by an external investigator.

Those were some of the findings from an independent report for the Queensland Government into workplace safety on the $1.6 billion project north of the city.

The document from risk management consultant Prensa was handed to Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey yesterday, just hours after he ordered a stop-work action at various points of the project.

Covering 18 rollover incidents in 2017, Prensa completed it over two stages based on investigations and site interviews between February 26 and March 8.

The report found project coordinator Nexus Infrastructure and principal contractor Nexus Delivery, a joint venture between Acciona Infrastructure Australia and Ferrovial Agroman, did have a "number of comprehensive processes in place to plan and manage risk" with major plant equipment.

But it also pointed out serious problems with the reporting of incidents, the categorisation of rollovers and the lack of experience of some health and safety representatives on-site.

"Various areas for improvement were noted in relation to the establishment of an effective investigation team, the detail of the investigations, and the gathering of key contributory factors relating to the incidents," Prensa said in its recommendations.

One finding, relating to the documentation process of rollovers, revealed that incident descriptions were "lacking" and the category classifications were "inconsistent between similar incidents".

Investigators also took issue with the classification of incidents based on severity, finding that Category 1 (most serious) matters had to be externally investigated.

Six of the 18 rollovers were considered Category 1, with the rest falling into less severe categories based on the contractor's own processes.

But Prensa found health and safety representatives "did not appear to have been involved with any of the investigations", and only one of the incident investigations was found to have been "conducted by an independent investigator".

There were also questions around the experience and training of health and safety advisers at the site, including a "recent graduate with limited WHS experience" and another who was "employed as labourer and was transitioned into the role of health and safety adviser prior to starting".

The report found that Nexus increased its vigilance on safety procedures around plant equipment, particularly since late 2017.

It handed down a slew of recommendations, including updates to workplace health and safety processes, that all rollovers be considered Category 1 and be investigated by an external party, and that reports into incidents contained more evidence and data to back up findings.

Minister Mark Bailey is expected to release a response to the findings today.

Nexus has been contacted for comment.

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