Concrete pumping contractor fined $500K over worker’s death

A concrete pumping contractor in Keysborough has been convicted and fined $500,000 following the death of a worker who was struck by a large section of tubing.

The company pleaded guilty to one charge of failing to provide and maintain safe systems of work and one charge of failing to provide information, instruction, training or supervision under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004.

During the November 2015 incident, three workers were using a forklift to assist them with the disassembly of a 15-metre long concrete pumping component known as a tower tube. A forklift driver was directed to lift a section of the tube. He did not wait until the two workers on the ground were clear. The tube slid off the forklift and struck a 28-year-old worker, trapping him against a brick wall. He died at the scene.

The Melbourne County Court heard that the company could not produce a documented safe system of work for the task and that the workers were exposed to a risk of serious injury or death as a result of the tube falling off the forklift tynes.

“Incidents like this just should not happen,” said WorkSafe Victoria’s Executive Director Health and Safety, Marnie Williams. “Employers must ensure they have appropriate systems of work in place and that their workers are provided with the relevant information, instruction, training, and supervision to enable them to carry out tasks without risking their lives.”

“Every worker should be able to go into work with the expectation that they will return home safe at the end of the day,” she said.

“The fact that a young man has lost his life is unacceptable and this sentence should serve as a reminder to all employers of their obligations to keep their workers safe.”