SafeWork NSW has found Toll management to have failed to meet their work health and safety obligations over their refusal to address multiple complaints of workplace bullying and harassment.
The matter relates to several instances of bullying and harassment of workers by a manager at Toll’s Eastern Creek site over a 12-month period, which workers say poses a ‘high psychological risk to the health and safety of workers’ and ‘despite numerous attempts to have [the] risk managed…remains unaddressed.’
Following two internal reviews/appeals, in its final decision SafeWork NSW yesterday confirmed that Toll had failed in its duty of care towards its workers.
The regulator found that “although [Toll] had systems in pace [sic] to manage psychological risk, it is apparent that they were inadequate to control or prevent risk in relation to the three matters raised by workers concerning one supervisor that occurred over a substantial period of time.”
TWU NSW/QLD State Secretary Richard Olsen said that the decision by SafeWork was confirmation that psychological health and safety at work is just as important as physical.
“Toll management had several complaints about this particular manager’s behaviour, and they turned a blind eye while the manager continued this bullying and harassment.” Mr Olsen said.
“By doing nothing, Toll failed to protect the psychological wellbeing of their workers, and SafeWork has rightly found that to be a failure of their duty to provide a safe workplace.”
“It’s disappointing that no action can be taken because of the change of ownership of this particular division of Toll, but the new owners are on notice – this behaviour can’t be allowed to continue.”
“Every worker has the right to a safe and healthy workplace – and that includes psychological health and wellbeing too.”
Toll was issued with a Provisional Improvement Notice (PIN) by a worker health and safety representative in August, accusing the business of failing to address the manager’s behaviour which posed a risk to the psychological health and safety of workers.
After Toll’s initial request for a review of the notice resulted in its cancellation, a subsequent review overturned the cancellation and found Toll had in fact failed to meet its WHS obligations.
Media Contact: Mitch Wright – 0430 186 590