Construction work platform topples over causing death

The Age reports today – Builder Fined over Fatal Fall – that the builder Hansen Yuncken has been fined $475,000 after pleading guilty in the Victorian County Court.

The judgement does not appear to be on the austlii website for confirmation.

This was a 2010 accident at a ‘school halls’ project under the Building the Education Revolution project.

Is it another case where the upstream safe design aspects were not considered by the client?

RIMG1236

* Note: This photo of an elevating work platform in use is not a photo of the building in question.

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About John Culvenor

Hi, Thank you for taking a look at this blog. I work in engineering, ergonomics, creativity, design, training, etc. Often this is about helping solve legal puzzles through accident analysis. Sometimes it is about thinking up better designs for equipment, workplaces, and systems. This blog is about good design and bad design, accident analysis and how it can be done better, and how we can make a better, safer world by design!
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2 Responses to Construction work platform topples over causing death

  1. mikebehm says:

    This sentence in the last link is interesting “Mr Skourdoumbis said a safety representative might have checked conditions and noticed that the machine was on a filled ditch.” Would a safety representative on-site really have caught that? I’d have liked to see a picture of the conditions beforehand. Might have is the key phrase in hsi quote. Hindsight is 20/20.

  2. Yes Mike. It would be interesting to see the legal transcript. If it was on fill then it would not be as stable but is that something that was done recently that perhaps someone on site would know but the contractor did not know or was it old fill from previous work? Thus would it be known by knowledge of what was recently done or by how it looked on independent inspection?

    Of course in the safe design field we also want to know about the planning of the job. Rarely raised. It is known these services will be needed at the outset so what was the plan to make the area functional?

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