Scaffolding company, Synergy Scaffolding Services, has been fined $2 million over a ‘catastrophic’ collapse at a Sydney construction site, when overloaded scaffolding gave way.
The 18-year-old apprentice was trapped directly underneath, as was his colleague, Khaled Wehbe, who suffered serious injuries.
The company pleaded guilty to one offence under the WHS Act with the Judge finding workers were put in ‘significant peril’ and the collapse was the consequence of a ‘culmination of events’, including the unauthorised removal of building tiles.
The court heard the scaffolding was found to have a load of nearly 18-tonnes, more than its maximum capacity.
The Judge found the company knew there had been a history of the unauthorised removal of building ties and alteration to the scaffolding which was constructed without vertical bracing, in breach of its own design and the Australian Standard.
He fined the company $2 million, after a 10 per cent reduction for the guilty plea.
Christopher’s parents, Patrizia and Rob Cassaniti, say the fine will not act as a deterrent.
‘Two million dollars for a big builder is nothing, it's laughable. When Christopher got his job, we were so proud of him, and then to turn 18. To only live for days into that life milestone is just heartbreaking, because of somebody's complacent decision.’
Source: ABC News