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SafeWork SA accepts an Enforceable Undertaking from DPTI

Media Release
4 April 2019

SafeWork SA has agreed to accept an Enforceable Undertaking by the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) following the death of Debra Summers at the Echunga Training Facility in 2016.

Under the terms of the Enforceable Undertaking, DPTI’s obligations include an across-government review and reform of asset management and facilities maintenance and the training of approximately 250 Facilities Management Operators to ensure all government agencies meet their risk and safety obligations.

The total minimum expenditure by DPTI under the Enforceable Undertaking is projected to be just under $700,000.

DPTI have already spent nearly $400,000 on safety related improvements across their agency.

SafeWork SA Executive Director, Martyn Campbell, said an Enforceable Undertaking is appropriate in this case as it ensures money is directed toward improving worker safety rather than defending themselves in court.

“The acceptance of an Enforceable Undertaking in a fatality prosecution is not common but in this case justified. As the Regulator, I wanted to ensure there was a long term and sustainable improvement to workplace and worker safety across Government. This is much more satisfactory than another pecuniary fine,” he said.

“I would never accept an Enforceable Undertaking as the only outcome of a fatality prosecution, however, in this case we faced two entities involved in this tragedy. SA Police had the primary duty of care for Ms Summers’ safety and fully cooperated with the investigation at every stage and accepted liability at the earliest opportunity.

“The Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure were able to offer an undertaking to make significant changes to their processes to improve the safety of all South Australian government workers and visitors to government facilities.”

Refer to the Enforceable Undertaking page on the SafeWork SA website for the specific terms of the DPTI Enforceable Undertaking.