A construction company was fined $ 225,000 after three workers were injured when a tower crane collapsed on a block of flats in Wolli Creek.
S&T Services Pty Ltd has been investigated by SafeWork NSW and found guilty in the NSW District Court of violating the 2011 Health and Safety at Work Act.
Valerie Griswold, Executive Director, Investigations & Enforcement at Better Regulation Division, said the case sends a strong message about the need for security in the construction industry.
“SafeWork NSW has zero tolerance for workers or the public who are exposed to the risk of serious injury or death through unsafe practices.
“This is the first time Safework NSW has brought an indictment under Section 22 (2) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which relates to a designer’s failure to ensure a structure is designed without risk,” said Anderson.
The company was hired to design a large steel cantilever grill to support a tower crane on a construction site in Wolli Creek.
On August 6, 2017, in the final stage of erecting the tower crane, three workers had just installed a counterweight and were rotating 180 degrees to pin the boom in place when the right corner of the grill that the crane was sitting on gave way Corner then gave way too and the crane fell and landed on an apartment block across the street.
When the tower crane fell on the block of flats, three workers were able to jump from the crane onto the roof of the building. All three workers were injured, resulting in two workers unable to return to the rigging.
More than a hundred residents were evacuated from surrounding buildings for several days after the incident.
The NSW District Court found that the design of the grill was insufficient to support the total weight of the tower crane. The calculations for the pin connection points were incorrect, only hand calculations were performed, and no computer modeling was performed while available.
The court found that the risk was obvious and foreseeable that the tower crane could collapse if the construction of the grill was insufficient to support the intended fully erected tower crane.
S&T Services Pty Ltd was convicted, fined $ 225,000 and ordered to pay prosecutor’s costs. The company has since ceased trading. You have the opportunity to appeal against the decision.
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