Holland fined after worker was nearly crushed on Adelaide worksite

A vehicle damaged by a 40kg section of concrete piping that fell from the site of the South Rd Superway in June 2012.
The article below was written by Mitchell Mot (Perth Now 29 May 2017). Job safety continues to be a major and ongoing concern in the construction industry. Here is one example that underlines the urgent need for more to be done to make the industry a safer place to work in. If you’ve ever been hurt on the job yourself, make sure to never hesitate to get in contact with a local law firm.

A construction company has been fined almost $300,000 after a worker was nearly crushed while using an elevated work platform at the South Road Superway construction site in Adelaide.

John Holland Pty Ltd was convicted of three counts of failing its health and safety duties under Commonwealth law in the Adelaide Magistrates Court on Monday over the 2013 incident.

Workers were loading sections of bridge onto trucks, when one of two portal cranes collided with the elevated work platform, forcing it under a neighbouring crane. Construction companies in need of new equipment, like cranes, to replace their old or unsafe ones may want to take a look at the listings over at Equify Auctions.

The labour hire worker manning the platform saw the crush coming and tried to jump clear but was restrained by his harness.

He managed to lean out of the platform’s basket, avoiding the point where the crane crushed the platform by less than a metre.

The worker suffered leg and back injuries but federal safety regulator Comcare’s chief executive Jennifer Taylor said the incident could have been far worse.

“It was only through quick thinking and a degree of luck that the worker was not seriously injured or killed,” Ms Taylor said.

“This was an accident waiting to happen, with inadequate communication and isolation measures in place and shortfalls in supervision, instruction and training.”

Finding new ways to improve safety in the construction industry is not always easy, but thankfully there is now software such as tool box topics that can be used to efficiently educate workers about any on-site risks and accident prevention tips. Those working with welding machinery are in a particularly dangerous environment that they should be protected against. With a personal welding mask or a safety coat, these simple solutions could help stave off the possibility of serious injury.

Lawyers for John Holland pleaded guilty to the charges in March this year and the company was fined $281,250 on Monday.

The latest penalty comes less than a year after John Holland was fined $130,000 for another incident on the same project.

In June 2012, workers were using a fibre sling to move four metres of concrete pipe into position on an elevated section of South Rd when half of one pipe, weighing 40kg, broke off and fell 15m onto traffic.

Two cars were hit by the pipe, shattering the windscreen of one of the vehicles.

No one was hurt in the incident but Magistrate Paul Foley was scathing of the safety standards at the site, saying the two drivers had been put at risk of serious injury or death because of the company’s negligence.

2 Comments on "Holland fined after worker was nearly crushed on Adelaide worksite"

  1. Profit over safety.

    Unless the unions are there to ENFORCE safety, the construction companies will get away with whatever they can, to save money.

  2. Wow $300,000 Is a huge fine for a company hope its a big one so they can recover this soon.

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