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It can so easily happen on any building site?

Incident description:  The defendant was the principal contractor and builder in control of the site, responsible for planning work and arranging for various trades to attend.

It engaged a sub-contractor to undertake work, including block-laying for retaining walls, a trench was excavated to permit a block retaining wall to be erected.

The trench was approximately 11.5 metres long, between 2.3 metres to 4 metres wide and, at its deepest approximately 1.9 metres.

There was no barricade or barrier around the trench.

A 21-year-old worker employed by the sub-contractor slipped and fell into the unbarricaded trench.

He was impaled on an uncapped vertical steel reinforcing starter bar located in the trench and sustained a serious groin and lower stomach penetration injury. 

The only persons present on the incident date were workers of the sub-contractor, undertaking the block-laying.

The defendant had a site supervisor allocated to the site who was not present.

A documented ‘site evaluation’ was carried out by the defendant prior to works commencing, but did not refer to any control measures required to address risks which may present from conducting works on the site.