Safe Work Australia has reported the Minister for Work Health and Safety will be joining SafeWork inspectors in Sydney’s West in the launch of a 12-month surprise inspection campaign to reduce fatal falls on NSW building sites.

This comes after the decision of Judge David Russell handed down on 8 February 2023 in SafeWork NSW v Parrish Group NSW Pty Ltd whereby the defendant was convicted as a result of breaches under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and fined $300,000.

In this matter, the injured worker was riveting gutter lining on the roof of a building under construction when he fell approximately 6.8 metres through an unsupported section of a guttering line to the concrete slab below, resulting in serious injury.

His Honour imposed the penalty on the basis of general deterrence with the view that the frequency in which the court deals with falling from height injuries are not decreasing.[1] His Honour requested that a copy of this judgment be sent to SafeWork to highlight the regular instances in which falls from heights have caused significant injuries in the workplace.[2]

Falls from heights, have been the number one cause of fatalities on NSW construction sites, with 16 people killed between 2018 and 2022.[3]

Contractors and builders are obligated to offer training and safety equipment to protect workers at heights and to identify those risks as well as taking steps to manage hazards, as far as reasonably practicable.[4]

If you have suffered an injury at work and require advice regarding your compensation entitlements, contact Turner Freeman Lawyers for an obligation free discussion on 13 43 63.


[1] [2023] NSWDC 13, 57; SafeWork NSW v LJW Solar Pty Ltd [2022] NSWDC 526, 58.

[2] [2023] NSWDC 13, 73.

[3] SafeWork, ‘SafeWork launches campaign targeting unsafe work at heights, following judicial call for action’ (5 June 2023) <>.

[4] Ibid.