Engineering contractor John Holland has been fined $170,000 over the death of a mechanical fitter at Brisbane's Airport Link project in 2011.

The Federal Court handed down the fine on the company, which was also ordered to pay costs, for breaching Commonwealth work health and safety laws.

The case, the second relating to breaches by John Holland at the Brisbane project, had been brought by federal work health and safety regulator Comcare.

Mechanical fitter Sam Beveridge was working on smoke duct formwork in the Airport Link tunnel when a section he was cutting collapsed, causing him to be severely crushed.

He died in hospital two days later on October 1, 2011.

Mr Beveridge had been disassembling the smoke duct formwork used as part of the tunnel construction.

In an agreed statement of facts tendered to the court, John Holland admitted it failed to provide him with training on risk or control measures for the work, or a safe system of work for the cutting of the formwork.

Comcare chief executive Jennifer Taylor said the penalty sent a strong message that employers need to carry out comprehensive assessments of all work health and safety risks.

“In this case there was a clear failure to take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure this work was carried out safely,” she said.

“Detailed risk assessments are fundamental requirements in identifying hazards and ensuring the health and safety of workers, and that did not happen here.”

John Holland was fined $110,000 in in April last year over a December 2011 accident on the Airport Link site when a worker suffered head injuries after an unsecured metal bridge, weighing 47kg, fell on him.