PRISBEL FINED $50K FOR CONCRETE PUMP FATALITY

Prisbel Concrete Pumping has been fined $50,000 and ordered to pay $8,179 in costs after a fatal accident involving a concrete pump occurred in May 2021 in which a 40-year-old worker was struck and killed by a collapsing boom pump.

A subsequent WorkSafe investigation revealed the collapse was due to a metal fatigue crack in a critical component of the boom pump, called the king post. The crack would have been detectable through proper inspections.

Prisbel had been conducting regular inspections since purchasing the pump in 2010 but had not performed the recommended major inspections, including non-destructive testing of critical components, such as the king post. This type of testing is recommended periodically by Australian Standards.

WorkSafe have subsequently emphasised the importance of thorough and regular safety testing and maintenance of machinery to prevent such incidents. The cracks in the boom involved in the incident could have been detected a year or more before the boom snapped, if the king post had been removed from the pump and inspected.

"It's just part of doing business and there's no excuse for failing to test regularly and thoroughly." 

Key safety measures for using mobile concrete boom pumps include:

  • Planning and preparing for each project to ensure safe operations.
  • Preparing a SWMS for high-risk construction work and following it
  • Developing and implementing safe operating procedures with employee consultation
  • Setting up boom pumps safely, avoiding power lines and managing traffic and pedestrians
  • Ensuring operators hold the appropriate high-risk work licenses
  • Regularly inspecting and maintaining boom pumps, including checking pipe components and thickness testing
  • Following industry standards for discharge control, hopper guarding, cleanout processes, and emergency controls

For more information on safety measures for mobile concrete boom pumps can be found here.

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