Companies fined for worker death

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Two companies were fined $450,000 this month over a worker fatality on a Melbourne construction site in 2011.

The companies were both found guilty of two counts of breaching the OHS Act 2004. They were found guilty of failing to provide safe systems of work and failing to provide proper instruction, supervision and training.

The victim fell about 40 metres when the mast of a Fundex F3500 Piling Rig collapsed. The 30-year-old dogman suffered several injuries and died at the scene.

The Victorian WorkCover Authority (VWA) Executive Director of Health and Safety, Len Neist, said construction being one of the most high-risk industries in Victoria, should make safety a priority.

“The constantly changing nature of construction work distinguishes it from other types of work,” said Mr Neist.

“Different hazards and risks emerge on a daily basis, so effective and current training is a fundamental obligation for all employers. There is simply no excuse for lax training standards and processes. Workers should never be left to just work things out.

“Mr Swaanenback was a construction worker who put his trust – and his life- in the hands of people who failed to make safety a priority. His family, friends and workmates now have to live with the catastrophic results of that failure for the rest of their lives.”

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