Northern Territory Major Events Company Pty Ltd

Date accepted:7 June 2019
Proposed expenditure:$944,225

Incident

On 3 September 2017, 14 spectators received serious burn injuries during a burnout competition at the Red CentreNATS. The Northern Territory Major Events Company Pty Ltd is the event organiser of the Red CentreNATS.

Alleged breach

It was alleged that NT Major Events Company Pty Ltd failed to comply with health and safety duties under Sections 19, 38 and 39 of the Work Health Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act 2011 (the Act) and its obligations under the Work Health Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Regulations 2011.

Summary of work health and safety undertaking

An undertaking given by NT Major Events Company Pty Ltd in relation to the alleged contraventions has been accepted by the Regulator as an enforceable undertaking under Part 11 of the Act.

NT Major Events Company Pty Ltd has committed to a range of activities to improve health and safety in the workplace and deliver health and safety initiatives to the wider community. These activities include:

  • Provide professional development in work health and safety (WHS) for events for all employees;
  • Engage a professional Event Risk Management Consultant to develop an event risk and safety framework and provide advice on the framework’s development and implementation;
  • Engage a professional WHS Consultant to advise on all events;
  • Conduct external third party audits around WHS for events and safety management systems;
  • Develop an internal audit framework to address all key risks;
  • Engage independent Event Safety Officers to guide internal staff;
  • Conduct agency pre-event desktop exercises with Police and emergency services, which is facilitated by industry consultants;
  • Create and host event industry development seminars (min of two per year) to build event capability, skills and knowledge;
  • Provide the opportunity for event managers to secure funding for professional risk assessments and mitigation strategies;
  • Establish event planning, risk templates and WHS guidelines for use by event managers, as well as links to best practice;
  • Once the event risk & safety framework has been implemented, Northern Territory Major Events Company will host industry case study seminars;
  • Working with MotorSports NT to establish and implement workshops specific for motorsport risk mitigation for the 50 clubs operating in the Territory;
  • Improve community safety for the public spectators by redeveloping the viewing mound and installing new shade structures;
  • Work with the Confederation of Australian Motorsport (CAMS) and the Australian National Drag Racing Association Standards (ANDRA) to seek sanctioning of all sport components of the Red CentreNATS;
  • Event funding has been allocated for legacy community-based events to ensure their event planning and risk management meets minimum industry standard;
  • Consult with the NT Police and host a desktop exercise in Alice Springs to engage the local event community through raising awareness of the value of desktop scenario planning to identify and manage event risk.

The amount spent on work health and safety activities following the incident was approximately $415,175 (not included below).

The financial commitment of the activities proposed in the undertaking are:

  • workers or the workplace – $198,225;
  • industry - $291,000, and
  • the community - $455,000.

The financial commitments to the undertaking have a total minimum expenditure of $944,225.

Reasons for regulator acceptance

The regulator accepted the WHS undertaking under section 216 of the Act and is satisfied that this undertaking offers significant and ongoing commitments to achieve improved work health and safety outcomes and compliance beyond what is required by the law. The regulator believes the WHS undertaking offers a similar deterrent to a successful legal proceeding and will result in a tangible improvement to safety in the workplace, industry and in the Northern Territory community.

NT WorkSafe has commenced monitoring the enforceable undertaking to ensure the activities are implemented and will continue to do so until the undertaking is completely discharged.