Early in the month QRMC had the pleasure of supporting a Mock Trial exercise to open the 2018 Safety Institute of Australia Visions Conference on the Gold Coast. The Mock Trial was facilitated by Aaron Anderson and his team from Norton Rose Fulbright.

The scenario was based on a serious hospitalisation injury resulting from a fall through a void on a construction site.

Norton Rose Fulbright provided legal expertise to fulfil the roles of defence, prosecutor and magistrate and with some role-playing by a supporting cast the conference attendees were able to see the different approaches taken by the defence and the prosecution cases. In contextualising the presentation Aaron explored the legal proceedings and processes in setting the scene, and to aid the learning process he interrupted the legal proceedings with ‘time-outs’ to explain the legal process and the line of questioning.

The defence and the prosecution’s examination of the ‘WHSQ Inspector’, the Injured worker and 2 witnesses presented the details of the scenario from a different perspective, and interwoven within this was the analysis of some example management system components typically relied on within construction workplace, the Site Induction process and the SWMS.

While the exercise only presented a snap-shot of full court proceedings, the formalised legal processes were evident as was the detailed and thought-out strategies of both the defence and prosecution.

The ensuing discussion raised good points in relation to the use of subcontractors, the overarching Principal Contractor’s responsibility and the need for clear and effective communication.

We thank Aaron and the team for all their efforts in bringing the event together and providing key insights into the legal process.

Please contact QRMC for more information.