Better Late Than Never

A decision by the Full Bench of the Industrial Commission has shown a chink of light in the bleak landscape of prosecutions in NSW of Principal Contractors for incidents involving specialist contractors.
Safework NSW had sought leave to appeal an IRC decision to revoke an improvement notice issued to a Principal Contractor, and internal review decision of that improvement notice following an incident where an anchor point failed and an independent ropes access contractor was killed.
Despite the PC engaging a highly qualified specialist contractor to design, install and test the anchor points it was found in breach of the WHS Act for failing to ensure the health and safety of the contractor using the anchor point. Leave to appeal was rightly denied. What really troubles me is the view put forward that a Principal Contractor has control over an independent contractors work simply by virtue of having hired them. This argument is so flawed and in ignorance of High Court and , Supreme Court jurisprudence as to be breath taking.