A Darwin mobile crane rental company faces fines of up to $ 3 million after a nearly two-ton electrical panel fell back on two workers, leaving one of them in critical condition.

Important points:

  • NT Worksafe has claimed that AM Cranes & Rigging has not established a secure work system despite the high risk involved
  • The company was accused of violating health and safety laws in the workplace after two men were injured
  • One of the men suffered severe head injuries

AM Cranes & Rigging Pty Ltd faces two charges by NT Worksafe after the 1.8 ton electrical panel hired to transport it fell on workers in February 2019.

An AM Cranes & Rigging employee was stuck under the switchboard but was released by other on-site employees.

Emergency services had to rescue the second man who was employed by another company after he was trapped at the switchboard and sustained serious head injuries.

The charges relate to occupational safety and health law violations that allegedly resulted in injuries to both men.

The company could face a maximum fine of $ 1.5 million for each charge if found guilty.

A statement from NT Worksafe said the investigation found that AM Cranes & Rigging had failed to establish a safe work system despite “the high risk of serious injury or death if the switchboard were to fall”.

It was said that a crane was originally used to partially lift the electrical panel into a newly built room at Palmerston Police Station that was still under construction, after which it was placed on four ice skates.

Three workers then tried to manually move it across a cable pit covered by a checkerboard board when it fell backwards.

In a statement, NT Worksafe said the company should reasonably have known that the likelihood of the switchboard overturning was “very high”.

The watchdog also said the dimensions of the room for the switchboard meant that workers who moved it manually were always within their radius of fall and were at serious risk.

The matter will be heard in Darwin District Court on March 23rd.