Spartan Steel manufactures steel frames on-site at Altona North and installs them at various customer locations. This process often requires the use of a remote-controlled overhead traveling crane (OHTC) to transport steel beams of varying lengths and weights.
On July 1, 2020, an incident occurred that injured a worker operating the OHTC. The task involved lifting five steel parallel flange channels, weighing approximately 200 kg, onto a truck. During the lifting process, the load shifted, striking and trapping the worker.
Immediate medical attention was provided, and the injured worker subsequently required multiple surgeries. The incident was reported to WorkSafe's advisory line, leading to an investigation. The investigation revealed that the task performed by the injured worker fell under the definition of 'dogging work' as defined by the relevant regulations.
Slinging techniques were being applied while lifting with the OHTC, creating a significant risk of injury or death due to the potential for being struck by a load of steel. Spartan pleaded guilty and, without conviction, was sentenced to pay a fine of $40,000 and costs of $12,213.
They acknowledged their failure to implement a safe system of work, provide appropriate training and qualifications, and maintain an updated list of licensed personnel.