A major development company has been fined $350,000 for an "immense oversight" at the construction of a giant warehouse in Melbourne's southeast that led to the death of a man.
According to information from the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, County Court judge Liz Gaynor said that John Parton's fate was sealed when Australand failed to oversee properly work being done at the Dandenong South site where he was killed when a steel frame collapsed. (WCxKit)
She said it was only luck that more men had not yet arrived for work when the structure, measuring 82 meters by 240 meters, crashed down on the 47-year-old Langwarrin man.
Gaynor said the steel frame had not been properly braced and a colleague with Mr. Parton narrowly escaped death or serious injury.
She said failing to ensure the partially built frame was braced was a "serious example" of an occupational health and safety breach that had resulted in the "massive collapse of a massive structure.”
Australand, the principal builder of the project and in charge of overseeing construction, was fined $350,000.
Australand had no prior convictions and Gaynor said it had shown remorse and taken immediate steps to improve safety on its projects.
Acting director of WorkSafe's construction and utilities team, Allan Beacom, said after the sentencing that temporary bracing on partially-built structures was integral to workplace safety.
“There are a surprisingly high number of structural failures where this simple step has not been done, and in every case, people are at risk," he said.
“The incident must act as a reminder to all that fundamental safety responsibilities must be adhered to." (WCxKit)
Charges against two other defendants in the case are yet to be heard.
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
HOW TO REDUCE WORKERS COMP COSTS BOOK: www.WCManual.com
WORK COMP CALCULATOR: www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR: www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact