Magistrate finds serious safety breaches in worker's death
AN Ipswich Magistrate issued heavy fines to an experienced crane driver and his employer, following a workplace accident that claimed the life of a young man.
Workplace Health and Safety investigations into the accident that killed the 33-year-old found the crane driver and the Carole Park business he was working for had committed serious safety breaches.
A total of $65,000 in fines was issued to the driver and Tranzblast Coating Services, who were both convicted after pleading guilty.
The court heard that at about 3.30pm on November 23, 2015, the victim had been asked by crane driver Robert Poida to sling the load and walk alongside it to steady the cargo.
The crane, which which was found to have been operated with defective brakes and lights, was shifting a large steel pipe in an alleyway at the Mica St business.
The victim was standing close to the left front wheel when he was run over.
Mr Poida was later treated for what police described as severe shock. Magistrate David Shepherd heard the victim should not have been asked to perform the task, as he was not a licenced dogman.
In sentencing, Mr Shepherd said there was obvious risk to the pedestrian worker, and that Mr Poida's familiarity with his duties perhaps played a role.
Mr Shepherd noted that the crane's defects did not directly contribute to the incident.
He said maintenance systems were not followed.
Mr Poida was convicted and fined $15,000, and ordered to pay court costs of $1,100.
Tranzblast was fined $50,000 and ordered to pay professional costs of $1,092. The conviction was not recorded.
Workplace Health and Safety Head Dr Simon Blackwood said the worker was put in an unsafe position.
"The defendant should have used a tagline. One was available and he had been trained in the safe work method statement," Dr Blackwood said.
"He should also have used an experienced spotter to ensure his helper was a safe distance from the crane."