Melbourne Truss Pty Ltd Convicted for Unsafe Work Practices Following Employee's Untimely Death
In a recent ruling by the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court, Melbourne Truss Pty Ltd, a prominent timber truss manufacturer, has been convicted and slapped with a hefty fine of $200,000 due to unsafe work practices. This sentencing comes in the wake of a tragic incident that claimed the life of a worker at a construction site in Point Cook. The company had previously pleaded guilty to a single charge of failing to ensure a safe and risk-free workplace under its jurisdiction.
Additionally, the court has ordered Melbourne Truss Pty Ltd to cover $11,234 in associated costs. This ruling serves as a stern reminder of the serious consequences that can arise from neglecting workplace safety standards.
The incident in question took place in March 2020, when Melbourne Truss workers were engaged in the unloading of prefabricated timber floor trusses using a vehicle-mounted loading crane. The operation was being conducted within the framework of a townhouse under construction at the Point Cook site.
Tragically, the incident unfolded as the crane operator was positioned on the delivery truck tray, while his assistant stood on the concrete slab. During the unloading process, a bundle of trusses being hoisted by the crane inadvertently collided with a steel structure integral to the townhouse framework. This collision caused the steel structure to shift inward, striking the assistant in the face. The impact sent the worker tumbling backward, and he suffered a fatal head injury, ultimately succumbing to his injuries at the scene.
The Melbourne Magistrates’ Court concluded that Melbourne Truss Pty Ltd could have reasonably minimized the risks to health and safety by ensuring that all personnel were situated in secure locations during the unloading process. This verdict underscores the importance of prioritizing worker safety in all workplace activities.
Narelle Beer, the Executive Director of Health and Safety at WorkSafe, emphasized the preventable nature of this tragic incident. She stated, “This tragedy is a stark reminder for every employer using cranes to ensure safety is the first priority each and every time a load is lifted. Cranes and lifting equipment are an essential part of the daily work for many industries, but work involving cranes is high risk and must be treated with the utmost care and caution.”
The case serves as a somber reminder of the critical need for employers to adhere to strict safety protocols and prioritize the well-being of their workers when utilizing heavy machinery, particularly in high-risk environments like construction sites.