A-1 ENGINEERING FINED $250K FOR CRUSH FATALITY

Cobram company, A-1 Engineering has been fined $250,000 following an incident at Leitchville in 2017 that fatally crushed a worker and inflicted serious injuries on another.

The company was found guilty of failing to provide the supervision necessary for employees to perform their work safely and without risk.

A-1 Engineering had been contracted to assist with dismantling and packing equipment at a decommissioned cheese factory, for transport to New Zealand.

The fatal incident involved a 770-kilogram condenser being craned into a closed-top shipping container while two workers were inside preparing to remove skates from underneath the heavy component.

The condenser subsequently fell off a jack, crushing the workers. A 59-year-old lost his life, while the second worker sustained severe injuries.

Subsequent WorkSafe investigations determined the company failed to provide active supervision of the workers and did not ensure their supervisor was adequately qualified and experienced.

The court separately convicted and fined Andrew Buchanan Engineering Ltd, the company directing work at the factory, $300,000 after pleading guilty to two charges.

To mitigate risks, duty holders are required to thoroughly plan lifting tasks, select appropriate shipping container configurations, use suitable mechanical aids, and provide workers with the necessary training, instruction, and supervision for performing high-risk tasks safely.

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