Prosecutions

Worker crushed; $60k fine
Econopave, a company providing asphalt and associated services to the commercial, private and government sectors, was last week fined $60,000 over an incident in June 2017 in which a worker was seriously injured when he was crushed by a roller.

An Econopave employee was tasked with loading a Hamm Roller onto the top deck of a float attached to a truck. This required ramps to be placed onto the float to enable him to drive the roller into position. He reversed the roller up the ramp until the back wheels reached the top deck. While manoeuvring the roller back and forward one of the ramps fell from under the roller, causing it to tip and fall off the truck. The employee was dislodged from the roller, landing on his back on the ground with his lower right leg caught under the roller's roof.

The man suffered 7 broken ribs, a fracture to his T9 vertebrae, severe crush injuries above his right ankle and required five blood transfusions. Despite two operations to save his right foot, it had to be amputated. In total he spent 6 months in hospital.

A WorkSafe inspection discovered that the ramps to the top deck of the float could not be adequately secured to prevent dislodging. The ramps previously had locating pins which had been broken off or were missing. An Improvement Notice was issued in relation to the float and the ramps used to gain access to the top deck.

The company pleaded guilty and was without conviction sentenced to pay a fine of $60,000 plus $3,652 costs.

To check all of the recent prosecutions, go to the WorkSafe Prosecution Result Summaries and Enforceable Undertakings webpage.

UK: Defunct firm convicted after bricklayer dies in wall collapse
A company that is in administration has been convicted of two criminal safety offences after an employee was killed when a wall collapsed on a construction site. The Court heard how, on 2 June 2015, Thomas Telfer was working as a bricklayer employed by Capstone Building Ltd, when he was struck by falling masonry after a retaining wall failed as it was being back-filled with concrete. The 31-year-old suffered fatal head injuries. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company had failed to appropriately manage the work that was being carried out at the site and failed to ensure the health, safety and welfare of employees on site. Capstone Building Limited  was found guilty after a trial of two criminal health and safety offences and was fined £900,000 (A$1.666m) and ordered to pay costs of £60,337 (A$111,188). The firm's sole director Stephen Ayles, 58, was found not guilty. An HSE inspector said: "This tragic incident could so easily have been avoided if the appropriate measures were in place to provide a safe working practice. Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards." 
Read more: HSE news release. Source: Risks 890

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