07:35 am, Wednesday 30 June, 2010
The Fremantle Magistrates Court has fined a crane operator last week after his crane collapsed while residential construction work was going on. The crane narrowly missed other workers in the site.
The crane operator pleaded guilty to failing to endure his safety and the safety of others. He was fined $8000 by the court.
The incident took place in March 2009 in a construction site where a two-storey house was being built.
The defendant was driving a crane to the site and set up the crane with its outrigger on soft sand and the front jack on a pile of bricks.
The dogman wanted to make sure the crane could reach the necessary position, so he asked defendant to do a trial run without any attached load.
The supports collapsed under the crane while the defendant was doing the practice run. The machine tipped over onto its right side and came to rest on the building and scaffolding.
The crane did not hit any worker, although one had to run to avoid the falling crane.
WorkSafe WA Commissioner Nina Lyhne stresses the importance of safety procedures around machinery such as cranes.
“Setting up a crane on a solid foundation is one of the fundamental principals of crane operation, but one that was not observed in this case,” she said.
“The crane operator placed himself and another four employees in danger of being injured or even killed by the crane when it fell. If the crane had been loaded, the danger would have been even greater.
“This case should serve as a reminder that employers have an obligation to ensure that cranes are operated in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions at all times.”
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